House Committee Examines Challenges Facing the Workforce Investment System; WIA Reauthorization Proposal Introduced

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by NADO Admin

Since the start of the 112th Congress, the House Education and the Workforce Committee has been holding a series of hearings to examine and address the continued challenges facing the workforce investment system.

On April 17, the Committee, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), held a hearing on the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), a reauthorization measure introduced by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV).

H.R. 4297 would consolidate more than 25 existing workforce programs into a single $6 billion Workforce Investment Fund, which would be allocated to states and localities by formula.  It would also require the Department of Labor to conduct an independent evaluation of its programs every five years.

The measure also proposes to:

  • Eliminate all current membership requirements for state and local workforce boards, except for certain requirements relating to business and economic development representation, and locally elected officials;
  • Eliminate provisions relating to automatic designation of local workforce areas, allowing state boards to designate local areas in consultation with the governor;
  • Reduce the governor’s set-aside for statewide activities from 15 percent to 5 percent of a state’s Workforce Investment Fund allotment;
  • Require states to reserve no more than 18 percent of Workforce Investment Fund allotments for new State Youth Challenge Grants;
  • Require states to reserve 2 percent of Workforce Investment Fund allotments for grants to serve adults with barriers to employment;
  • Eliminate the requirement that local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) give priority for services to low-income individuals;
  • Set common performance measures for the Workforce Investment Fund, adult education programs under Title II, and Vocational Rehabilitation programs under Title IV.

The House Workforce Committee plans to hold additional hearings on the measure and may consider H.R. 4297 as early as May.  To learn more about this hearing and to read witness testimony, visit (http://www NULL.edworkforce To learn more about the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, click here. (http://edworkforce NULL.aspx?DocumentID=288055)

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