Got a case of the Mondays? Here’s a piece of good news for workers to jump start your week. Last week the U.S. Senate passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bill that modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs through 2020, helping American workers attain skills for 21st century jobs. The bill cleared the House of Representatives in June and will now go to President Obama for his signature. The WIOA provides access to training, education and workforce services that all of America’s workers, regardless of ability, need to compete in a global economy. Now more than ever, effective education and workforce development opportunities are critical to building a stronger middle class. The passage of the bill will create:
- A streamlined workforce development system by reducing bureaucracy;
- Greater value by supporting access to on-the-job, incumbent worker and customized training;
- Better coordination by strengthening ties between the state’s regional workforce development councils and employers, and;
- Improved outreach to disconnected youth by bolstering high school dropout recovery efforts and improve college access.
Goodwill empowers people in our region to reach their full potential through family-sustaining employment. Last year, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont helped nearly 15,000 individuals find work that provided stable income, career advancement opportunities and resources to support the needs of a family. Our services include training classes, job resource centers and on-the-job training programs—each of which is designed to give participants the skills and training needed to find and keep a job. Like Goodwill, the WIOA will help workers (including individuals with disabilities) access employment, education and support services to gain critical skills that today’s employers are seeking.
What changes would you enact to increase workforce opportunities in your community?