It was a privilege to join the Speaker as he signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. There is longstanding, bipartisan agreement that the current workforce development system is broken, and this bill turns that consensus into action, said Representative Virginia Foxx. This legislation is important for the millions of Americans who are looking for work and for the employers who have unfilled jobs due to the skills gap. Closing this gap will improve the lives of many American job seekers while helping our economy grow.
The bill represents a compromise between Congresswoman Foxxs SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed the House of Representatives in March of 2013 with bipartisan support, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356), which passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee with a bipartisan vote of 18-3 in July of 2013.
The amended legislation was approved this week by a vote of 415 to 6 in the House of Representatives after passing the Senate last month by a vote of 95-3. The bill now goes to the Presidents desk where it is expected to be signed into law.
WIOA modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, provides support to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete. In addition to winning strong bipartisan support in both chambers, the bill is supported by a broad array of labor, business, and workforce development leaders, as well as disability advocates, governors and mayors from around the country.
Photos of the signing ceremony are attached. Photo 1, from right to left: Leader Pelosi, Rep. George Miller, Rep. John Kline, Speaker Boehner, Rep. Foxx, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa