Washington, DC — Rep. McBath voted last night to pass the bipartisan Stronger Workforce for America Act (H.R.6655), legislation that makes critical updates to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to increase the amount of skills development provided under the law, strengthen connections between employers and the workforce system, and put more Americans on the pathway to a successful career.

“We know that there are many paths to success when it comes to education and workforce development, and each is deeply personal. The passage of this package represents a rare and important bipartisan effort to overcome division and lift up future generations,” said Rep. McBath. “I am thrilled that three bills I led were incorporated into the final bill, modernizing the future of our workforce, improving earning potential, and meeting the needs of the American people.”

Rep. McBath’s provisions include:

In 2014, Congress made critical improvements to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to streamline the maze of federal workforce development programs and enhance accountability through a single set of performance metrics. However, almost a decade later, significant challenges persist that impede the workforce system’s ability to provide high-quality services to job seekers and employers. 

“For far too long, we have left our workforce development system without the resources and tools it needs to connect workers with good-paying job opportunities and help employers access a pipeline of talented workers,” said House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03). “A Stronger Workforce for America Act delivers a long overdue update to the backbone of our workforce development system and will help ensure every American can benefit from our economic growth. The bill makes an array of key improvements to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, such as expanding and improving the quality of skills development, strengthening services for youth, and codifying grants to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and sustainable careers. In short, this legislation is the next step we must take to build our economy from the bottom up and the middle out.”

A Stronger Workforce for America Act would:

  • Upgrade the skills of the American workforce by dedicating 50 percent of the adult and dislocated worker funding towards upskilling workers.
  • Create an emphasis on employer-led initiatives that equip workers with the skill sets to fill jobs in critical industries and help the currently employed workforce upskill to avoid displacement and advance their careers.
  • Ensure workers displaced from their jobs through no fault of their own can access robust skill development services, including through “individual training accounts.”
  • Increase accountability, quality, and efficiency by streamlining the “eligible training provider list” to ensure programs are aligned with the skill and hiring demands and fully implementing the performance accountability system to hold states and local workforce boards accountable for achieving positive outcomes for program participants.
  • Strengthen pathways to continue economic opportunity by emphasizing work-based learning for youth, codifying a program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment, and enhancing workforce education programs at community colleges that align with in-demand jobs.
  • Fuel innovation for a skills-based economy by creating a demonstration authority for targeted state and local boards to reimagine their workforce systems and providing technical assistance to employers on implementing skills-based hiring practices. 

To read the bill text for A Stronger Workforce for America Act, click here.