The House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved legislation Thursday designed to help unemployed Americans gain the skills and education necessary to fill in-demand jobs. Rep. Tom Petri, a senior member of the committee, said that if the bill becomes law, it will be an important step forward for unemployed workers.
"Today, more than 47 job training programs are scattered across the federal government, a bureaucratic mess that fails to adequately serve workers and wastes taxpayer dollars," Petri said. "President Obama has acknowledged the problems within the nation's workforce development system, calling on Congress during his State of the Union address to 'cut through the maze of confusing training programs.' That's what the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will do."
"There are 3.7 million job openings currently, and 13 million unemployed Americans. There is a miss-match between the jobs and the skills required to do them. We can take a big bite out of unemployment if we address the problem properly," he said.
The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297) would strengthen the nation's failing workforce development system, eliminate dozens of ineffective programs, better integrate job training services with the needs of local employers, and enhance accountability for effective use of taxpayer dollars, Petri said.