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House Passes WIOA Revamp, Modernizing Workforce Development

Engineer training and discussing robot development

The nation’s primary workforce development and training law was amended and reauthorized by lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 9.

Originally enacted in 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides funding to state agencies to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services.

House lawmakers passed the bipartisan H.R.6655 A Stronger Workforce for America Act by a vote of 378-26, with another 26 not voting. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

If enacted, the WIOA reauthorization would fund the system through 2030. The reauthorization aims to make improvements to WIOA to help close the national skills gap, provide more accountability in the system, and help U.S. workers obtain high-quality, well-paying jobs.

SHRM Supports WIOA Update

SHRM supports A Stronger Workforce for America Act, calling it a significant step toward strengthening America’s workforce and ensuring its long-term global competitiveness.

“It wisely invests in our future, supporting strong and inclusive talent pipelines, including opportunities for untapped talent pools,” SHRM stated in a letter of support to lawmakers.

“A Stronger Workforce for America Act presents an opportunity to align education and development programs with current industry demands. This will equip individuals with the skills and certifications businesses seek, leading to more robust talent pipelines and expanded candidate pools.”

What the A Stronger Workforce for America Act Does

Specifically, the act:

  • Provides billions of dollars in funding to states to support training and career services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. The legislation dedicates 50 percent of the adult and dislocated worker funding toward upskilling workers through “individual training accounts” (ITAs) and on-the-job learning while redirecting an existing funding stream toward ITAs for displaced workers.
  • Manages the nation’s network of One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Administers the Job Corps program with increased performance accountability.
  • Streamlines the “eligible training provider list” to focus on outcomes and ensure eligible programs are aligned with the hiring demands of employers.
  • Encourages innovative sector partnerships by allowing states to invest in critical industry skills initiatives.
  • Authorizes state and local workforce boards to aid employers in implementing skills-based hiring practices.
  • Places greater emphasis on work-based learning for youth and on workforce education programs at community colleges that align with in-demand jobs.
  • Establishes grant programs that support employment and training services for formerly incarcerated individuals.
  • Strengthens the workforce data system by promoting the use of real-time labor market information, facilitating access to wage records data, and promoting data transparency.


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