Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement regarding the passage of the SKILLS Act this afternoon:
"Americans are struggling to navigate through our troubled economy. Government programs and training have been set up to help guide them but have become ineffective due to a web of unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles. The federal government operates a myriad of more than 35 different job training programs - many of which are duplicative - at a cost of $18 billion annually. These programs are failing and preventing businesses from hiring skilled workers."
"The SKILLS Act will cut through this mess and streamline it to be more productive and focus on training people for high paying, sustainable jobs. Furthermore, this bill keeps funding for job training and placement at current levels while streamlining these programs. That means more funding will go toward getting Americans back to work."
"The American people deserve a responsible government that will do what is necessary to make its programs work. I hope the Senate will take up this bill and pass it as soon as possible."
This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 803 the "Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act". This important bill will empower employers, rein in bureaucracy, and provide America's workers with a more dynamic, flexible, and effective network of job training services.
Important Provisions in the SKILLS Act:
Streamlining and Eliminating Ineffective Programs
As approved by the committee, the SKILLS Act eliminates and streamlines 35 ineffective and duplicative programs, including 26 identified in a 2011 report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The proposal creates a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to serve as a single source of support for workers, employers, and job seekers.
The proposal empowers state governors to consolidate additional employment and training programs and services at the state level for the express purpose to improve administrative efficiency, further eliminating waste and improving support for workers.
Empowering Job Creators and Promoting Accountability
The SKILLS Act strengthens the role of employers in workforce development decisions by requiring two-thirds of workforce board members be employers and focuses training on in-demand occupations.
The proposal requires state and local leaders to use a set of common performance measures for services offered to workers, improving accountability and protecting taxpayer dollars.
Cutting Through the Bureaucracy
The SKILLS Act eliminates arbitrary roadblocks that prevent workers from accessing job training immediately, and helps ensure support is tailored to the specific needs of individual workers.
State and local workforce investment boards are responsible for policy and oversight of employment and training services. The proposal repeals 19 mandates affecting who can serve on the boards and empowers state and local officials to appoint the remaining members.