U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today voted for legislation known as the SKILLS Act to help Americans receive the job training they need in order to compete in the modern workforce. The bill passed the House on a vote of 215-202.
"Like many other programs and agencies, our federal workforce development programs are bloated, out-of-date and simply are not working for the American people," said Davis. "The SKILLS Act will help the more than 12 million Americans actively looking for jobs receive the education and training they need from community colleges, labor unions and the business community."
The SKILLS Act, H.R. 803, modernizes and reforms federal workforce development programs to help make life work for more people by eliminating arbitrary roadblocks that prevent workers from accessing job training immediately and ensuring that the workforce investment system is responsive to the needs of employers.
"The nation, and especially the state of Illinois, continues to struggle with high unemployment and unsustainable debt," said Davis. "Congress must focus on streamlining ineffective and inefficient programs to promote a better use of taxpayer dollars and increase our return on investment. The SKILLS Act accomplishes that by providing America's workers with a more dynamic, flexible, and effective network of job training services."
H.R. 803 -- THE SUPPORTING KNOWLEDGE AND INVESTING IN LIFELONG SKILLS (SKILLS) ACT
Eliminates Ineffective and Redundant Programs - 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. It also 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.
Empowers Job Creators and Promotes 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. It also requires state and local leaders to use a set of common performance measures for services offered to workers, improving accountability and protecting taxpayer dollars.
Cuts 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. H.R. 803 repeals 19 mandates affecting who can serve on the boards and empowers state and local officials to appoint the remaining members.