The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee has passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022, out of committee. While it is currently unclear if there will be a full House vote on the legislation, Education and Labor Committee Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) highlighted key issues with the workforce development bill including:

  • Opening taxpayer funding of WIOA up to fraud and abuse;
  • Expanding federal control over workforce standards and limits the rights of job-seekers while expanding union representation on state and local workforce boards;
  • Damaging changes to the list of providers approved to offer skills education;
  • Overemphasizing the burdensome registered apprenticeship program; and
  • Failing to expand access for job seekers to innovative work-based learning opportunities.

ABC, as part of the Opportunity America Jobs and Careers Coalition, raised similar concerns, stating in part:

“We also have some concerns about the proposed draft, starting with what we fear will be a dilution of employer input into the decisions made by state and local workforce boards, as participation by labor union representatives and other local stakeholders is mandated to increase. We understand the need for quality assurance, but we’re surprised by the provisions that add to the barriers facing companies that seek funding for on-the-job worker training. Many employers eager to provide work-based upskilling are already hesitant to apply for federal funds, put off by what they see as burdensome bureaucracy – and we’d like to see the process streamlined, not made more complex. Perhaps most significant, however, we’re disappointed that the draft is not bipartisan. We believe members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have important ideas to contribute to WIOA reauthorization – increasing funding for workforce training and making programs more inclusive, but also innovating to make the system more market-driven and align it with rapidly changing labor demand. To that end, we’d like to see provisions for more employer input, more public-private partnerships, more programs funded on a pay-for-performance basis and more emphasis on competency and demonstrated skills.”