On July 31, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed S 1356, a bill that would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, which expired in 2003 and has been up for reauthorization since that time. A major facet of the bill requires states to submit one plan covering workforce development and training, and that they use a single set of performance metrics to evaluate the success of programs.
• Emphasizes effective use of real-world data, performance indicators, and stringent assessments and evaluations to determine the impact of workforce investments.
• Empowers state and local workforce agencies to tailor their programs to specific needs.
• Emphasizes real-world education training opportunities, including on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, customized training, transitional jobs, and sector strategies.
• Maintains business majorities while shrinking state and local boards.
• Closely aligns workforce systems with regional economic development and labor markets.
• Applies one set of common performance metrics to each workforce program supported by WIA.
The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The House of Representatives passed its version of WIA reauthorization, called The SKILLS Act (HR 803), in March.