U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released the following statement after passage of the bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which contains several key components of his SKILLS Act (S.1911):
"I am very pleased the Senate today moved forward in transforming our nation's broken workforce development and training system by passing the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).With the inclusion of several key components of my SKILLS Act, those looking for work and job training will have easier access to a more efficient workforce development system -- an essential step to competing in the global 21st century economy. This agreement is the result of a true commitment by both parties and both chambers to reform our workforce development system, and will help ensure American competitiveness and reform the current outdated system.
"I would like to thank my colleagues, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), as well as my fellow colleagues on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, for working with me to ensure the addition of these important pieces of the SKILLS Act.I would also like to thank Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) for her leadership in the House on this issue.
"I look forward to swift passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and President Obama's signature on this important piece of legislation."
Senator Scott's priorities from his SKILLS Act (S.1911) included in today's WIOA bill:
The elimination of delays currently hindering job seekers from immediately accessing job training services (commonly known as"sequence of services").
The elimination of 15 programs identified as ineffective or duplicative to create a streamlined effort that will better serve job seekers.
Independent evaluations every 4 years for workforce development and job training programs.
Keeping the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the Department of Education where it currently is housed.
Senator Scott offered the SKILLS Act as an original part of his Opportunity Agenda, which he announced last January.Other pieces of the Opportunity Agenda include the CHOICE Act, S.1909, which expands educational opportunities for children with disabilities, children living on military bases, and children living in impoverished areas; the SEA Jobs Act, S.2202, which expands America's energy production to offshore Atlantic states to increase responsible offshore energy production, create jobs, grow the economy, lower energy prices, spur new educational training programs, and strengthen America's national security by lessening dependence on dangerous countries for energy; and the LEAP Act, S.2234, with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), which increases apprenticeships through a new federal tax credit for employers.