At a White House ceremony today, President Barack Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bipartisan, bicameral deal to improve the nation's workforce development system, co-authored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and seven of her colleagues, Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate. The bill, which passed the House and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete
Ahead of President Obama signing the bill into law, Senator Murray released the following statement:
"This is a great day for American workers and businesses alike, because after more than 10 years of trying, Republicans and Democrats will finally have a new law in place to modernize our federal workforce programs," said Senator Murray. "The bill on the President's desk today is a prime example of what's possible when members from different parties, different states, and different chambers come together to get things done for the American economy. I've heard from countless families and businesses in Washington state who have told me how much they rely on effective workforce programs, so I'm absolutely thrilled the President will finish more than a decade of hard work and negotiations today with his signature. We simply would not be here today without the incredible work of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, so I would like to thank, in particular, Senator Isakson, Senator Harkin, and Senator Alexander, for their partnership throughout this process."
Newspapers from across Washington State, including The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and The Everett Herald, have all praised WIOA.
WIOA represents a compromise between the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed the House of Representatives in March of 2013 with bipartisan support, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356), which passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee with a bipartisan vote of 18-3 in July of 2013.