June 30 Update:
On June 25, WIOA passed the United States Senate by a near-unanimous vote of 95-3 and will next move to the House of Representatives for a vote, though the timing is unclear due to the July 4 holiday recess. Supporters of the bill are anxious to see it pass as reauthorization of the original bill, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), is 11 years overdue.
ATD President & CEO, Tony Bingham, and 2014 chair of ATD’s Public Policy Council, Bill Docalovich, sent a letter of support for WIOA to the eight Representatives and Senators who co-sponsored the new bill. In it they noted, “Regardless of the economic climate, it is critical that organizations of all sizes recruit, develop, and retain their human capital to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. To do this, employers must have access to a workforce development system that helps them invest in developing their employees.”
May 30 Update:
Leaders from both chambers of the U.S. Congress have come to an agreement on a new bill to improve the nation’s workforce development system. The new legislation titled the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs and effectively replaces the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), originally passed in 1998. The new bill (WIOA) would reauthorize the program for six years, 2015-2020.
The House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee has provided a press release with additional information, and the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has done the same with the following press release. Both committees’ releases include links to a summary of the legislation, key improvements, and text of the bipartisan agreement.
As the bill has the support of both House and Senate leadership, the hope is that this bill is expedited through both chambers—first the Senate, and then the House—in June.
“This is the most significant and promising development for the reauthorization of WIA—now WIOA—that we have seen in many years,” said Jennifer Homer, vice president of communications for ASTD, now known as the Association for Talent Development (ATD). “We will continue to monitor the bill’s progress in the coming months and provide a review of changes to the workforce development system that result from WIOA,” she said.