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Congress Approves Reforms To Workforce Development System

PrintYesterday, the U.S. House overwhelming passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803 — information about the bill and a summary can be found here) by a vote of 415-6. The vote came on the heels of the Senate’s 95-3 vote two weeks ago. The strong number of votes in both the House and Senate were a rare display of bipartisanship. The legislation is now expected to be signed into law by the president in the coming days.

AGC supported the legislation because it will streamline the workforce development system, giving states greater flexibility to address worker shortages and strengthening employer engagement. The bill refocuses federally funded workforce training towards in-demand occupations, in-demand skills, real-world job opportunities, and real-time business needs that help prepare workers for jobs in construction. It would give priority consideration to training that leads to industry-recognized credentials. It also offers significantly enhanced incentives and opportunities for employers and employer associations to engage in these efforts more actively. Finally, the bill strengthens registered apprenticeship programs already in existence.

The reforms of the workforce development system include many priorities from AGC’s Workforce Development Plan for the 21st Century, which was released earlier this year.

For more information, please contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org

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