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ICYMI: News Reports Highlight Bipartisan Job Training Agreement

On Wednesday House and Senate leaders announced a bipartisan deal to reform the nation’s workforce development system. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will streamline a maze of duplicative programs and help hardworking Americans prepare for in-demand careers.

Read highlights from press reports on the compromise:

The compromise measure would eliminate 15 of 47 existing federal workforce training programs, provide a single metric for assessing performance across all of the remaining programs and allow state and local workforce development boards to tailor efforts to the needs in their areas. – Bloomberg BNA, Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Deal to Fund, Streamline Numerous Job Training Programs

The agreement will eliminate some programs, overhaul Job Corps, make changes in the makeup of advisory boards and lay out specific appropriations…“We can’t expect a modern workforce to succeed with an outdated job training system… with too much bureaucracy, too many inefficiencies, and too little accountability,” House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., said in a release.” – CQ Roll Call, Agreement on Long-Stalled Job Training Measure Unveiled
[The deal] is a victory for House Republican leaders, who have touted the bill for months as an area where they could find common ground with the Obama administration and Senate Democrats…“Dozens of other House passed pieces of legislation that help grow our economy and create jobs remain stalled in the Senate, and I hope this is a sign of more action to come,” [Majority Leader Eric Cantor] said. – The Hill, House and Senate strike rare election-year deal

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) will spearhead the bill in the House. Foxx, chairwoman of the House education committee’s workforce subcommittee, crafted the House’s original WIA rewrite…In recent months, Foxx has repeatedly criticized both President Barack Obama and the Senate for not doing enough to reform workforce programs. – Politico Pro, Senate, House join forces on workforce bill

“With Americans still asking ‘where are the jobs?,’ here’s another example of what we can accomplish when Senate Democrats work with us to address the people’s priorities,” House Speaker John Boehner says in [an] e-mailed statement. – Bloomberg, Bipartisan Jobs Training Bill to Be Considered in House, Senate

"For Americans having a hard time finding the skills they need for the jobs they want, we are about to deliver reforms that will help close that gap," House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said in a statement Wednesday. "The legislation announced today cuts through the clutter of outdated programs and puts a greater focus on in-demand jobs." – Wall Street Journal, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Job Retraining

[The bill] consolidates and streamlines programs... requires all programs to show how they do on a common set of performance metrics… improves outreach to disconnected youths… boosts the preparation of young people with disabilities to work in competitive employment. – Christian Science Monitor, Workforce of the future? Bipartisan bill would overhaul job training

If the bill clears both chambers of Congress, as expected, it would be the first time that Congress had renewed the Workforce Investment Act, or WIA, which was enacted in 1998…The rare bipartisan agreement comes at a time when many Americans are growing frustrated with the sluggish economy and fluctuating job market.Chronicle of Higher Education, Key Job-Training Legislation Finally Heads Toward Passage

“The current workforce development system is broken,” said Chairman Kline. “I am pleased we are moving toward adopting comprehensive reform that provides employers, workers, and taxpayers the job training solutions they deserve.”

Click here to read more about the bipartisan compromise and learn how the bill will improve the nation’s workforce development system.

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