An historic bipartisan, bicameral bill that amends and reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) through fiscal year 2020, has been passed by both the Senate and House and is headed to President Obama for signature. H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which first passed in the Senate on June 25, cleared the House on July 9. The bill makes key improvements to the nation’s workforce development system, helps workers attain the foundation skills necessary for 21st century jobs, and fosters a modern workforce to help make American companies be competitive. The bill emphasizes the creation of career pathway programs, improved integration and coordination of education and training services, development of sector based strategies, and streamlined service delivery to individuals, especially for underprepared youth and adults.
Key provisions include:
- requiring states to develop unified plans and to use common accountability measures
- eliminating the “sequence of services” provisions of WIA
- providing the ability to fund training services through contractual arrangements, opening expanded opportunities for community colleges to participate in the federal workforce program
- emphasizing regional planning and service delivery and sector based strategies
Stay tuned to the OCTAE Connection newsletter and the OCTAE blog for more information on how this new legislation will impact adult education, community colleges, and career and technical education programs.