A bill with 5th District Congresswoman Virginia Foxxs influence evident is headed to the Presidents desk to become law, according to a release yesterday. The Workforce Investment Act, a law Foxx called overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, received what she called overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. H.R. 803, called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act represents a compromise between Congresswoman Foxxs SKILLS Act which passed the House of Representatives in March of 2013 and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 which passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee with a bipartisan vote of 18-3 in July of 2013. The Senate and House authors of WIOA applauded the passage of the bill, the legislation was approved yesterday by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of Representatives; it was approved by the Senate last month by a vote of 95-3 and will be signed into law by President Obama.
Foxx said Todays vote is the culmination of a long process of legislating the old fashioned way: discussion, negotiation and compromise. There is longstanding, bipartisan agreement that the current workforce development system is broken, and this bill turns that consensus into action. She called the legislation important for the millions of Americans who are looking for work and for the employers who have 4.6 million job opportunities that remain unfilled due to the skills gap.
The release said that 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.
- Written by Steve Frank