The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act (H.R. 803). Sponsored by Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the legislation will help workers access the education and training they need to compete in today's economy.
"After a decade of debate and delay, Congress is another step closer to approving comprehensive job training reform legislation," said Chairman Kline. "At a time when 12 million Americans are unemployed and the national debt is spiraling out of control, workers and taxpayers can no longer afford the failed status quo. The SKILLS Act will remove the bloated bureaucracy standing between job seekers and the training they need to get back to work. It is time for the Senate to act so reform can become reality."
"I am delighted the House has advanced the SKILLS Act," said Rep. Foxx. "Americans deserve a workforce development system that is more efficient, more accountable, and more responsive to the needs of our workplaces. This important legislation heeds the president's call to cut through the maze of confusing and ineffective workforce development programs. We must ensure taxpayer dollars are supporting workers instead of unnecessary bureaucracy. I urge our Senate colleagues to put forward their own ideas and help move this process forward."
Support for this important legislation continues to grow; governors, community colleges, and job creators have endorsed reforms in the SKILLS Act. As approved by the House, H.R. 803 will:
Eliminate and streamline 35 duplicative and ineffective employment and training programs.
Replace the current maze of programs with a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to provide workers, employers, and job seekers one simple source of support.
Establish common performance measures for state and local leaders and require an independent evaluation of programs at least once every five years to improve accountability.
Require local workforce investment leaders to outline the strategies they will implement to serve at-risk youth, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other workers with unique barriers to employment.