House Workforce Hearing Sets up Contentious Markup
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a hearing
yesterday, February 26, to discuss the current state of the workforce system.
Testifying at the hearing yesterday was:
While the hearing was originally scheduled to discuss the
current state of the workforce system, it evolved into a discussion of Rep.
Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) recently introduced Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
reauthorization bill, the Strengthening Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. The Act includes
some controversial measures including consolidating 35 job training programs
into a single fund controlled by state governors, allowing governors to
determine local workforce areas and eliminating all required members of state
and local workforce boards except for business and economic agency
While all of the witnesses that testified were in agreement
that WIA and the workforce system is in desperate need of reform, their
opinions on best practices for reauthorization differ. Dr. Holzer advocated for
a greater emphasis on performance and adequate investment in the workforce
system. On the other side, Mr. Hart and Mr. Gustafson both agreed that the
SKILLS Act will produce greater outcomes for the workforce system.
Despite the disagreements among witnesses and members of the
committee that were voiced throughout
the hearing, Rep. Foxx will move the SKILLS Act forward to a full committee markup next week. The markup
will allow committee members a chance to offer amendments to the bill.
The markup will take place during ACTE's National Policy Seminar on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building.