BRADENTON – On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) with bipartisan support. The measure past the Senate late last month. Congress says the legislation will help put Americans back to work by reforming the nation’s outdated workforce development programs. Congressman Vern Buchanan, who voted in favor of the bill, agrees.
The legislation is based upon the House-passed SKILLS Act, which was recently passed by the Senate and now is set to become law once signed by the President.
“The next war we face won’t be on the battlefield, but in the global marketplace,” Buchanan said, noting that China is poised to pass America in 2017 as the world’s largest economy. “It is imperative that we help American workers access the education and training they need to compete in today’s economy.”
Congress says the bill will help cut red tape to allow for region-specific and customized job training programs and increase ability for workers and companies to utilize on-the-job training, while ensuring accountability of taxpayer dollars by streamlining program evaluation criteria.
The bill received broad support from labor and business organizations
"The Labor Department reported earlier this week that U.S. job openings have hit a 7-year high, up to 4.6 million for the month of May," said Buchanan in a release. "However, while job openings have risen 16 percent over the past year, hiring has only increased by 6 percent."
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