SKILLS Act Introduced in the Senate

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by NADO Admin

Last week, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (S.1913) in the Senate.  The bill is identical to the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803) (http://www NULL.gpo NULL.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr803rfs/pdf/BILLS-113hr803rfs NULL.pdf) that passed the House of Representatives on March 15, 2013 by a vote of 215-201.

Both of these companion bills would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and would consolidate 35 existing training programs into a single Workforce Investment Fund.   NADO opposes this and other provisions in the SKILLS Act that would weaken the important role of local stakeholders in the administration of workforce development activities and would reduce access to education and training for millions of American workers.

On July 31, 2013 the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved by a vote of 18 to 3 the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356) (http://www NULL.gpo NULL.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s1356is/pdf/BILLS-113s1356is NULL.pdf), which was drafted on a bi-partisan basis by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who is Ranking Member of the Employment and Workplace Safety subcommittee.  HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) negotiated the title on vocational rehabilitation separately from the rest of the bill.  All four senators co-sponsored S. 1356.  NADO continues to advocate for the bi-partisan S.1356 to receive Senate floor consideration.  First authorized in 1998, WIA is now eleven years overdue for reauthorization.

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