In advance of a “bill markup” by the House Education and Labor Committee to reauthorize the “Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act” (WIOA); members of the Opportunity America Coalition have weighed in. The proposed legislation is welcomed by the Coalition to the extent that it will increase outlays on important aspects of workforce training and upskilling with proposed grants for industry and sector partnerships, changes to state eligible training provider lists, supports incumbent worker training, and codifies grants for community college education on these matters.
However, the Coalition’s support is tempered by concerns regarding: (a) diluting employer input at the state/local workforce board level, (b) provisions seeming to add barriers to companies that seek funding for on-the-job training, and (c) that the draft is not a bi-partisan effort that balances all the interests while creating a more practical vehicle that recognizes market-driven needs and aligns it with changing job requirements.
The Coalition has vowed to press for a bi-partisan approach to the bill going forward, that addresses the needs across the spectrum while revamping a future workforce system.
[For details, see the Opportunity America Coalition letter].