Today, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV), all members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (PDF) .
While Goodwill® is still analyzing the bill’s details, it proposes to consolidate 27 programs into one Workforce Investment Fund. The new proposal is based upon on previous bills introduced last year by the three representatives.
The bill introduced today is contrasted by a bill introduced last week (PDF) by Democrats on the committee. The Democratic alternative would:
• Preserve existing programs for youth, adults, dislocated workers, older workers and veterans
• Expand priority-of-service requirement to include individuals with barriers to employment
• Clarify that participants are not required to receive core or intensive services before receiving training
• Require training to be linked to high-growth sector of the economy
• Authorize additional funding (three percent of amount for three core funding streams) for infrastructure
With the Republican bill now introduced, the committee is expected to mark up the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 very soon. If reported favorably by the committee, it would be cleared for consideration on the House floor. While election-year politics are likely to slow the bill’s progress and may prevent WIA from being reauthorized before Congress adjourns, Goodwill will continue to inform the reauthorization process going forward.