On April 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ABC-supported H.R.6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act, in a 378-26 vote. Ahead of the House floor consideration, ABC sent a letter in support of the legislation. “Since its passage in 1998, WIOA has been a crucial asset to the construction industry, aiding in securing funds for workforce development efforts and assisting those seeking new jobs and employment. However, since WIOA’s bipartisan reauthorization in 2014, the construction industry has faced new challenges and a workforce shortage that has left many contractors throughout the country in desperate need of qualified, skilled craft professionals,” the letter noted. “To ensure the workforce is equipped to meet industry demand, ABC is committed to pursuing policies and legislation like H.R. 6655 that address these unique challenges.”

According to a press release by the Committee on Education and the Workforce, “This bipartisan legislation makes critical improvements to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that will expand the skills development provided under the law, strengthen the relationship between employers and the workforce system, and put more Americans on the pathway to successful careers.”

A Stronger Workforce for America Act reauthorizes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for the first time in nearly a decade and promotes America’s economic competitiveness. Most critically for ABC, H.R. 6655 supports an all-of-the-above approach to work-based learning and seeks true modernization and bipartisan input to support WIOA’s success.