House Republicans release the SKILLS Act.

February 22, 2013

On February 21, Higher Education and Workforce Training subcommittee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), along with Reps. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).  

The SKILLS Act would consolidate 35 existing federal employment and training programs into a single $6 billion Workforce Investment Fund.  Last year, House Republicans introduced similar WIA reauthorization legislation that would have consolidated more than 2 dozen existing federal workforce programs – including WIA formula and national programs, Wagner-Peyser Employment Services, SNAP E&T, and others – into a single fund. 

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans have scheduled a subcommittee hearing for Tuesday, February 26 at 10:00 am to discuss the proposal.  

National Skills Coalition strongly supports efforts to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the nation’s workforce investment system, and supports innovation at the state and local level. However, we urge Congress to ensure that any final WIA reauthorization bill does not lead to further funding cuts for workforce development, or reduce access to needed training and employment services for U.S. workers, jobseekers, youth, and businesses. 

National Skills Coalition is preparing a full analysis of the proposal, and will continue to provide updates on WIA reauthorization efforts as new information becomes available.