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House Dems Introduce WIA Reauthorization Bill

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March 21, 2012

House Dems Introduce WIA Reauthorization Bill

By: Alisha

On March 20, Reps. John Tierney (D-MA), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and George Miller (D-CA) introduced legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act. These Democratic leaders on the House Education and Workforce Committee were following the lead of House Republicans, who introduced their own partisan legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act in December.

The Democratic bill, the Workforce Investment Act of 2012, contains a number of changes ACTE requested in our WIA reauthorization priorities, including eliminating the sequence of services provision, allowing direct contracting between WIA boards and community colleges, utilizing career pathways, establishing common performance measures, and adding a separate infrastructure funding steam. The bill also authorizes the Administration’s Community College to Career Fund to expand capacity to train workers in high-growth industries, such as health care, transportation and advanced manufacturing.

According to the bill’s sponsors, it will: 

  • Streamline and improve workforce program services.
  • Improve accountability and transparency through performance measures and reporting across programs.
  • Promote innovation and promising practices.
  • Expand the role of community colleges in job training.
  • Develop a 21st century delivery system for adult education literacy and workplace skills services.
  • Engage youth through multiple pathways to success.
  • Create competitive employment services and opportunities for individuals with a disability.

A summary of the bill is available on the Committee’s Web site. ACTE will be examining the text of the proposed legislation carefully and providing comments to the Committee. Since the Democrats are in the minority in the House, it is unlikely this bill will move through the legislative process in its current form, but some of the ideas included could influence the legislation that is ultimately marked up by the House Education and the Workforce Committee later this spring.

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