White House Announces National Job-Driven Training Action Plan

By Rachel Unruh, July 22, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, the White House released an action plan, coming out of a government-wide review, led by Vice President Biden, to make the nation’s workforce education and training programs more job-driven. Later today, the President will sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bi-partisan, bicameral agreement to reauthorize the nation’s primary workforce training program.

National Skills Coalition’s executive director Andy Van Kleunen, who will join the President for the bill signing, said “President Obama has made job-driven workforce training a pillar of his economic opportunity agenda. The Vice President’s action plan, if realized, will allow communities to respond to the needs of local industry and more effectively help a range of students and workers access skilled jobs with good wages.”

In January, the President signed a memorandum calling on the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Education to work with the Vice President to develop an action plan to make the workforce training system more job-driven, integrated and effective.

WIOA, which the President will sign at noon today, arrived on his desk after overwhelming approval in the House and Senate (415-6 and 95-3 respectively). The new law signals that Congress wants to see more proven job-driven training strategies.

These successful strategies were a major focus of the Vice President’s action plan, in particular, education-industry partnerships.

“These partnerships have had big local impact, but they’ve struggled to grow and replicate without the weight of federal policy behind them,” said Van Kleunen. “The Vice President’s plan adds that weight, and builds on provisions of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which, if taken to scale, could multiply these job-driven training partnerships nationally.”