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ASTD Heads Back To Capitol Hill to Discuss Training Legislation and Initiatives.

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Fri Mar 25 2011

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Members of ASTD's Public Policy Council headed back to Washington, DC to discuss training initiatives with leaders from the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and staff for the Senate's HELP committee. Following up on last fall's Congressional Conversations with Chapter Leaders, the Council was ready to discuss and get updates on the training agendas for these two entities.

Our meeting at ETA was a discussion of the current Administration's desire to get more Americans back to work with the skills and certifications necessary to be successful. Their questions and interest with ASTD members was how they can more employers to be more engaged in the public workforce system. The Administration is very interested in learning about current and future skill needs of employers. Members of the Council shared with the Administration the large numbers of employees their employers are currently looking for and with future workforce needs.

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We also discussed the possible use and expansion of web based training now and in the future through the public workforce system. The leaders of ETA did show interest but did explain some of the barriers in using online learning within the system as it had been designed. Both groups saw great value in the meeting, and each looked forward to more interactions in the future.

We then traveled "up the hill" to a meeting with senior staff of the Senate HELP committee. We met specifically to get an update on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization and to discuss any other training legislation that may be brought forward by the committee. It looks like WIA "first draft" for feedback will be out soon; and ASTD, along with other groups, will be on the list to receive the draft version for comment. We look forward to seeing what is in the bill and to offer our suggestions. We also discussed how employers could better access all the other federal training programs available to them, and we had a good discussion of ideas on how to make programs "easier" for navigation for employers.

ASTD will head back to Capitol Hill this fall as part of the Chapter Leaders conference. Stay tuned for more information on Congressional Conversations soon! Also stay tuned as training legislation is introduced in this new Congress.

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