Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) and Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05) praised bipartisan passage of H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The bill, which passed the Senate in June, consolidates existing workforce development programs to make them more effective, while increasing focus on real-world jobs skills training. This legislation also improves coordination between labor markets and regional economic development areas, and overall transparency and performance accountability standards.
"With nearly ten million Americans unable to find full-time jobs and five million more who have given up looking for work altogether, it's clear that our economy has not gotten better for middle class families still struggling to make ends meet," said Congressman Roskam. "Reforming our outdated job-training system is essential in narrowing the skills gap between job-seekers and employers who are ready to hire in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act strengthens and streamlines training programs so workers can take full advantage of the 21st century economy, getting high-quality, full time jobs. By strengthening our workforce, we can bolster our economy for years to come and ensure American families once again thrive in a land of opportunity."
"Modernizing our workforce training system will provide workers with the skills and resources they need to compete in the 21st century job market," said Congressman Quigley. "With its public and private sector support, this bipartisan effort to extend the employment opportunity ladder is good for workers, employers and America's economy."
"We would like to thank Congressmen Roskam and Quigley for their support of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act," said Sue Clark, director of workNet DuPage Career Center. "The passage of this bipartisan bill will help us more effectively serve job seekers in DuPage by streamlining programs and removing red tape, while maintaining the pieces of WIOA which have proven to be effective."
"We are grateful for the reforms put forward in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which will make it easier for our organization to serve job seekers in our community by updating the programs offered and removing time consuming bureaucratic hurdles," said Julie Courtney, director of the McHenry County Workforce Network. "We look forward to using the tools offered in this bill, including the flexibility it provides to enact solutions to the workforce issues of the 21st century."
"Our workforce area, which includes Kane, Kendall and DeKalb Counties, faces a diverse set of employment challenges as well as exciting opportunities," said Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen. "Our three counties are working together to ensure that the precious Federal dollars we share have the maximum impact possible. Congress' passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act promises to help streamline how we invest those funds in critical training and employment services for our residents. This bill is an important step forward in preparing our local workforce for the future."