House Workforce Investment Act Legislation Moves Forward

Last week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce reported out H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. The Committee had marked up the bill earlier this year. The bill consolidates more than 20 Federal job training programs into a Workforce Investment Fund that would provide formula funds to state and local workforce investment boards for employment and training programs. Last week, the bill was also discharged from the Committees on Judiciary, Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation, and was referred to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for a period ending not later than Dec. 14, 2012. The Arc opposes this legislation.

House Marks Up Workforce Investment Improvements Act

Last week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The marked up bill was approved in a vote of 23 to 15. H.R. 4297 consolidates more than 20 Federal job training programs into a Workforce Investment Fund that would provide formula funds to state and local workforce investment boards for employment and training programs. The bill also would consolidate the Projects with Industry and State-Supported Employment Services Programs into the existing Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants program. At mark up, the Committee removed a provision that would have provided states with the option of including VR State Grants in the Workforce Investment Fund. The bill has also been referred to the Committees on the Judiciary, Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure. At this time, no action on the bill is scheduled in those Committees.

House to hold hearing on Workforce Improvement Act of 2012

On April 17th the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a legislative hearing on the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV). The bill consolidates more than 20 Federal job training programs into a Workforce Investment Fund that would provide formula funds to state and local workforce investment boards for employment and training programs. To learn more about the hearing and watch live video, visit the Committee web site.

Bill Introduced to Reform Workforce Investment System

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. The bill consolidates more than 20 Federal job training programs into a Workforce Investment Fund that would provide formula funds to state and local workforce investment boards for employment and training programs. Under the bill, states would have the option of including vocational rehabilitation (VR) State Grants in the Workforce Investment Fund. The bill also would consolidate the Projects with Industry and State-Supported Employment Services Programs into the existing VR State Grants program. The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and to the Committees on the Judiciary, Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure.

Bill Introduced to Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act

Representatives George Miller (D-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) introduced H.R. 4227, the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. The bill seeks to reauthorize and modernize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Provisions related to vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities would require training to be tied to competitive employment opportunities, expand training for self-employment and microenterprises, expand in-school and post-school pre-employment services, expand outreach and services to employers, and expand independent living services and resources. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Bills introduced to consolidate job training programs

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act (H.R. 3610).  The bill would consolidate 33 of the 47 job training programs identified in a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office, including grants for supported employment and Projects with Industry authorized in the Rehabilitation Act (the bill would replace Projects with Industry with a new section, “Collaboration with Industry”).  Vocational rehabilitation services authorized in the Rehabilitation Act would not be consolidated.  Additionally, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced the Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (JOBS) Act (H.R. 3611).  The bill would amend the Workforce Investment Act to increase the role of business in local workforce boards and their activities.

House hearing examined modernizing the Workforce Investment Act

On October 4, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, held a hearing on “Modernizing the Workforce Investment Act: Developing an Effective Job Training System for Workers and Employers.” Copies of witness testimony and a video archive of the hearing may be viewed on the Committee’s web site.

House hearing to examine modernizing the Workforce Investment Act

On October 4 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, will hold a hearing on “Modernizing the Workforce Investment Act: Developing an Effective Job Training System for Workers and Employers.” The hearing may be viewed live from the Committee’s web site.

Workforce Investment Act Mark-up Postponed

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has postponed its August 3rd mark up of legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Committee has not yet set a new date. Title IV of WIA provides state formula grants for vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally-funded programs. The HELP Committee recently circulated a staff discussion draft and solicited feedback from workforce investment stakeholders, including disability groups.

Workforce Investment Act Mark-up Postponed

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has rescheduled its mark up of legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The mark up is now set for July 20, 2011. Title IV of WIA provides state formula grants for vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally-funded programs. The HELP Committee recently circulated a staff discussion draft and solicited feedback from workforce investment stakeholders, including disability groups.