Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Pass Bipartisan Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act

July 9, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted to pass the bipartisan House-Senate agreement on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 (H.R. 803), which modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs and helps workers gain 21st century job skills.
 
“We have an incredibly talented and capable workforce, and we can help them succeed by empowering them with skills necessary to be competitive in a 21st century economy,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “By updating and improving outdated federal workforce development programs and policies, this legislation creates a more efficient system to train workers, connect employers with skilled employees, and enable individuals with disabilities to enter the job market. The bill brings our federal job-training system into the modern age to empower workers in Hawai‘i and across the country.
 
“This bipartisan bill represents a strong commitment to investing in the economic future of our working-class families, expanding opportunities for workers with disabilities, and engaging with disadvantaged youth to provide them with tools necessary to be successful in today’s workforce.”
 
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act creates:

  • A new grant to provide funding for Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native job training initiatives.
  • A streamlined workforce development system by:
    • Eliminating 15 existing programs.
    • Applying a single set of outcome metrics to every federal workforce program under the Act.
    • Creating smaller, nimbler, and more strategic state and local workforce development boards.
  • Greater value by:
    • Empowering local boards to tailor services to their region’s employment and workforce needs.
    • Supporting access to real-world education and workforce development opportunities through on-the-job, incumbent worker, and customized training; and pay-for-performance contracts.
  • Better coordination by:
    • Aligning workforce development programs with economic development and education initiatives.
    • Enabling businesses to identify in-demand skills and connect workers with the opportunities to build those skills.
  • Improved outreach to disconnected youth by:
    • Focusing youth program services on out-of-school youth, high school dropout recovery efforts, and attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials.
    • Providing youth with disabilities the services and support they need to be successful in competitive, integrated employment.

 
The WIOA is supported by major labor unions, including SEIU and AFL-CIO, Chambers of Commerce nationwide, and many other economic development and community organizations.
 
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