Thompson Lauds Passage of Bipartisan, Bicameral Job Training Reform Bill; Legislation Set to Become Law

Jul 9, 2014 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with bipartisan support the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), legislation that will help put Americans back to work by reforming the nation’s outdated workforce development system.  The legislation is based upon the House-passed SKILLS Act, was recently passed by the Senate and now is set to become law upon the President’s signature.

“America's competitiveness depends upon a qualified and trained workforce,” stated Thompson. “By creating greater coordination among federal, state and local workforce training programs and services, the workforce training system can better identify employment in high-demand industries, and also ensure Americans are more well equipped to climb the ladder of opportunity.”  

Thompson serves as a member of the House Education Committee’s Higher Education & Workforce Training Subcommittee, which was responsible for drafting the initial House version of the legislation.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act represents a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that revamps the nation's workforce development, job training and employment services system. The House passed its version of the legislation on March 15, 2013, and the Senate passed a modified version of the bill on June 25, 2014.

"The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will help close the skills gap, empower individuals to have the tools they need to get employed, and will help businesses access the skilled workforce necessary to grow the American economy,” Thompson added.

Signed into law in 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is the primary federal law supporting workforce development activities. H.R. 803 represents the first large-scale overhaul of the law in more than a decade.