Passage of Job Training Bill Paves the Way for a More Equitable Workforce

23 Jul 2014 | Angela Glover Blackwell
Passage of Job Training Bill Paves the Way for a More Equitable Workforce
Above: President Obama Signs the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

America’s increasingly diverse workforce will power a stronger, more equitable new economy—if all workers can access the training they need to participate and contribute. PolicyLink applauds Congress and the President for taking an important step forward by moving past political gridlock to enact the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act on July 22. This $3 billion-a-year job training bill holds great promise to strengthen the economy from the ground up by equipping the workers who face the greatest barriers to employment with the skills employers demand.
 
A job training system that works for vulnerable groups—the unemployed, disconnected youth, people with criminal records, workers without advanced education or training, low-wage workers—is more important than ever as baby boomers retire in droves and the workforce quickly becomes more diverse. The bill includes several changes to better link these workers to jobs and career pathways, building on local innovations and best practices. We thank our elected officials for taking this important step. And we also thank our colleagues at CLASP, Opportunity Nation, National Skills, Coalition, YouthBuild, and elsewhere who advocated for key provisions in the bill.  We look forward to their continued efforts to ensure the bill delivers on its goals for vulnerable workers as it moves through the implementation process.