WIA bill update: H.R. 803 passes House Committee

WIA bill update:  H.R. 803 (SKILLS Act) passes House Committee

Today the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee met to mark up H.R. 803 (SKILLS Act), a Republican-sponsored bill to reauthorize WIA and consolidate 35 employment and training programs into one block grant known as the Workforce Investment Fund. The bill also attempts to strengthen the role of employers at the local level by increasing the percentage of employers serving on local WIBs (2/3rds representation), as well as repealing 19 federal mandates governing WIB representation.

The Democrats on the Committee were displeased at the process by which Rep. Foxx (R-NC) and Chairman Kline (R-MN) handled the introduction, discussion and mark-up of H.R. 803. The Democrats noted that the bill would, “never see the light of day,” in the Senate, and that it was a “missed opportunity” for crafting a strong, bi-partisan bill [Rep. Tierney (D-MA)]. Democrats left during the middle of the meeting – subsequently, the legislation (with amendments) was approved by the Committee 23-0.

Please see this press release for more information, including opening statements and an archived broadcast of the hearing. Also, you can stay informed of all the latest WIA reauthorization legislation by following us on our Twitter page @paworkforce.