SKILLS Act Receives Committee Approval
The U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee embraced an amendment offered by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) today aiming to give states greater flexibility to financially reward top-flight workforce development programs. The amendment is part of H.R. 803, the SKILLS Act (Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills), which seeks to reform and modernize federal workforce training efforts.
"Local decision makers should have the freedom to recognize and reward programs and people making a measurable difference in the lives of the unemployed and underemployed," Brooks said. "When these efforts succeed, they give hardworking individuals the skills needed to gain greater independence, support their families and help our economy grow."
Under the amendment, states will be allowed to reserve a portion of their statewide employment and training funds to implement pay-for-performance strategies for eligible training providers meeting and exceeding the performance measures outlined in the SKILLS Act. This will allow states to recognize effective priority providers, such as community colleges.
The SKILLS Act streamlines more than 35 federal workforce development programs and creates a single Workforce Investment Fund. By seeking efficiencies and eliminating federal red tape, it ensures workers receive the crucial job training they need as soon as possible. It also makes sure support is individualized and focused on in-demand industries.
"The SKILLS Act eliminates bureaucracy and empowers individuals," Brooks said. "By seeking common-sense efficiencies and streamlining government services, we're ensuring more of each dollar flows to workforce training rather than administrative overhead. We're taking the steps necessary to build a 21st century workforce ready to power an information-age economy."
Congresswoman Brooks has been a passionate advocate for better and smarter workforce development opportunities. As Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College, she led statewide workforce development and job training efforts. The Congresswoman has also served on Indiana's workforce investment board, also known as the State Workforce Innovation Council (SWIC).
The SKILLS Act passed through committee and will now move toward a full vote on the House Floor. For more information on the Education and Workforce Committee, go to: www.edworkforce.house.gov. For more information on the Congresswoman, please visit: www.SusanWBrooks.house.gov.