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Subcommittee Discusses Successes of WIOA and Need for Timely Enactment of the Law


The Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, chaired by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), today held a hearing to examine the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The members and witnesses discussed stories of success in workforce development since the enactment of WIOA, and the need for the federal government to continue a timely implementation of the law.

“The bipartisan passage of WIOA streamlined the confusing maze of workforce development programs; decreased administrative overhead; required better coordination for adult, unemployed, and youth programs; and increased accountability for the use of taxpayer funds,” Chairman Guthrie said.

Guthrie went on to say, “Our conversation today could not be timelier as President Trump announces new measures to strengthen our nation’s workforce education and development programs.”

“While the president’s executive actions are encouraging, the implementation of WIOA and congressional action to reauthorize federal support for career and technical education can provide lasting improvement to how our citizens find success through workforce development and education programs,” Guthrie said.

It has been three years since the enactment of WIOA, and witnesses before the committee shared their own stories of how the law has been having a positive impact on workforce development education.

Heath Berlin, an information assurance manager for the Naval Health Clinic Annapolis, described how a WIOA-supported program workshop in his community allowed him the opportunity to gain skills and mentoring to find a new job after being laid off in 2016.

“I found the workshop very valuable in its holistic approach,” said Berlin. “The focus was not only practical in the sense that it was goal driven to finding the participants jobs, but also that it addressed the anxiety, anger and frustration of being unemployed for a long period and feeling stuck.”

Witnesses also discussed how states are taking the lead to build successful programs that welcome the involvement of career and technical education programs, as well as local businesses.

“The state board built a framework to allow for collaboration and conversation among all workforce stakeholders centered on an anchor organization that has displayed best practices in a specific Industry Sector,” said Louis Dubin, chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Workforce Board. “Getting talent to businesses. That’s what we’re about.”

For more about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, click here.

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