NADO Sends Joint Letter to the Senate on Workforce Reauthorization Priorities

Posted on: June 14th, 2013 by NADO Admin

This week, NADO sent a joint letter with National League of Cities (NLC), the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) to the U.S. Senate detailing legislative priorities in a 2013 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization. Click here to view the joint letter.

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) (http://www NULL.gpo NULL.pdf) expired in 2003 and Congress has yet to reauthorize a new bill. Workforce programs continue to operate under the yearly appropriations process, but legislation and policy changes are needed to improve the delivery of workforce and employment training services. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has jurisdiction over WIA, may begin work on a reauthorization bill in the coming weeks. Currently, a draft bill has not been released by the committee. The NADO legislative team will continue to send updates once more information is available.

NADO and the coalition’s workforce priorities in a Senate WIA Reauthorization include:

·         Streamline the state and local governance process to ensure that job training and employment services are delivered rapidly and effectively, and meet the needs of employers and workers by ensuring that workers are trained to meet the 21st century workplace.

·         Retain the local delivery system that is based on regional economies and local labor markets, and is led by county and city elected officials and local business leaders who are most familiar with their local economies and the ways in which they can be supported and improved.

·         Thoughtfully consolidate existing workforce programs that are administered by different federal agencies so that program services are more effectively and efficiently delivered to those in need of job skills training and job placement assistance.

·         Establish common performance measures to accurately reflect local and regional service strategies, economies, and business-led metrics that are used across all WIA programs.

·         Include a significant reinvestment in youth, dedicated to young people with low educational attainment and poor connections to work to establish a youth recovery and reengagement system that creates multiple pathways and greatly expands work experience including support for secondary school completion strategies, well-organized summer jobs programs, alternative education, occupational training, supportive services, adult mentoring for young workers, and comprehensive guidance and counseling to address the current youth employment crisis­.

·         Allow training flexibility to provide for customization of training needs.  A successful 21st century workforce system must be nimble enough not to impede the connection of eager jobseekers with employers who need to hire them.

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