On March 20, key Democratic members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee — Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA), Higher Education and Workforce Training subcommittee ranking member Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), and Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) — introduced the “Workforce Investment Act of 2012,” a bill to modernize and strengthen the nation’s public workforce system and ensure that all U.S. workers and businesses are able to get the skills they need to compete in today’s economy.
NSC has prepared section-by-section summaries of Title I (Workforce Investment Systems) and Title II (Adult Education and Literacy).
NSC sent a letter to Reps. Tierney, Miller, and Hinojosa on March 23 supporting key provisions of the bill, particularly efforts in the bill to:
- Accelerate the adoption of industry‐ and sector‐based partnerships, which would engage more employers in the development of training programs that prepare workers for available jobs in an industry.
- Increase cross‐program alignment through career pathways models to provide seamless employment and training pathways for individuals and eliminating disincentives to serve adults with low basic skills.
- Implement system‐wide measures that would require each state to develop quantifiable benchmarks demonstrating annual improvement in program alignment, engaging employers, expanding access to training, and increasing credential attainment.
- Create a line‐item for infrastructure spending and require a minimum percentage of funding for training. With the decline in WIA funding over the last decade states often must choose between using limited resources to maintain physical infrastructure or provide training. Clearly delineating infrastructure spending coupled with new training minimums will allow states to better prioritize training services.
- Emphasize attainment of industry‐recognized postsecondary credentials as a measure of the effectiveness of the workforce system in meeting the skill needs of workers and businesses.
We will continue to provide updates and analysis on this bill and other legislation relating to WIA reauthorization as new information becomes available.