Thompson, Local Officials Highlight Benefits of New Federal Workforce Development Law

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) joined on Wednesday, Aug. 5, with officials from several workforce development boards, along with local officials, in hosting a roundtable discussion regarding youth engagement through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The law is designed to enhance coordination among federal, state and local workforce training programs and services helping the workforce training system better identify employment in high-demand industries. 

“Many students and job seekers are not aware of the resources available to help connect them with jobs, which in many case are family supporting,” said Thompson. “Organizations throughout Elk, Clearfield and McKean counties are working hard to spread the word about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the resources available to connect residents of our communities with greater opportunity,” added Thompson, a member of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce.

WIOA is designed to streamline workforce development through the elimination of programs that have not worked in the past, replacing them with a system empowering local workforce development boards to serve their region’s employment and workforce needs. July 22, 2015 marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of WIOA, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The law took effect on July 1, 2015.

“In the north central region of Pennsylvania, we have worked to connect students with these in-demand technical jobs for the past three years,” said North Central Workforce Investment Board Director Susan Snelick.  “Youth across the area need to know that there are more options available to them, following high school, than just a four year university program.  There are so many options in our region that this new law will help workforce investment boards promote.”

“One of our greatest resources is a qualified, well-trained, workforce,” Thompson added.  “I look forward to continued discussions with our local leaders, in order to eliminate the barriers s between our young people and these jobs – and to make sure they have the assistance necessary to reach their full potential.”