gagnier for congress legislative snapshot: workforce innovation and opportunity act
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- 1. WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT GAGNIER FOR CONGRESS LEGISLATIVE SNAPSHOT christinagagnier.com
2. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act On July 22, 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, H.R. 803, was signed into law by President Obama. Introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the goal of the bill is to strengthen the workforce by having increased education programs to better prepare workers for future employment. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Wagner-Peyser Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. The job market has been consistently mediocre with a 6.1% unemployment rate, and companies have not been very successful at finding employees, with 4.6 million job openings not being filled. Although there are many unemployed workers, they do not possess the requisite skills to take open positions. This skills gap is what is addressed by WIOA, ensuring that workers have the skills necessary nationally and regionally to perform in open positions. This bill will ensure that more jobseekers are provided with the skills they need and will be more suitable to employers needs. WIOA does several things to address our national unemployment crisis: There will be $58 billion dollars dedicated to education and workforce development over a six-year span and fifteen programs will be cut due to their ineffectiveness. The allocation will: o Increase accessibility to jobs for people who may have barriers otherwise; o Equip workers with skills in order to secure employment; and o Provide for further workforce investment activities. The investment activities would include programs such as Title I Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs, and Adult Education and Literacy Programs. Technology literacy is a core contributor to the skills gap faced by American workers and employers today. The bill was a bipartisan effort, with a Senate vote of 95-3 in favor. Workforce development, much needed in the Inland Empire, is a place where both parties can work together to get America back to work. Closing the skills gap will be an important part of getting the local Inland Empire economy back on track. In addition, a framework for engaging employers must be created so that available job opportunities are effectively communicated to and connected with the unemployed population in the Inland Empire. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2015.