A few days ago, along with top House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, I introduced legislation to improve federal workforce development programs so that they better respond to local economic needs and help workers find a good job or a new career.
Too often, I hear from local businesses who are looking to hire, but can’t find potential employees with the right training. More effective partnerships and investments, like those at GE in Lynn and Arwood Machine Corp. in Newburyport, highlight how we can best utilize local businesses, schools and workforce training boards to make a significant difference in our country’s economy.
That’s why I am working to pass the Workforce Investment Act of 2013, legislation that would modernize the current system by promoting more effective coordination among local stakeholders including business representatives, labor organizations, educational institutions, economic development agencies, and community-based organizations. The bill would also increase taxpayer accountability of programs, and encourage innovation and best practice throughout the system.
As the Lynn Daily Item reported, it is imperative we strengthen our workforce system so people of all ages and abilities can obtain the skills and training they need and so businesses can hire and grow. My bill does just that, and it will promote and expand the kind of innovative partnerships among colleges, businesses, and workforce boards that are occurring in our area and throughout the country.
The men and women on the ground, working with our workers and our businesses agree. “Congressman's Tierney's Workforce Investment Act legislation will help train millions of workers for the new economy and strengthen the middle class,” said Verizon executive Stanley J. Usovicz, Chair of the Mass Workforce Board Association. “Employer-led partnerships across America will be strengthened as a result of this 21st century legislation to put people back to work,” added William Tinti, member of the National Association of Workforce Boards.
Enacted in 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) created local workforce investment boards (WIB) made up of community stakeholders who decide on how to respond to local economic needs. However, supporters of workforce training programs agree that improvements to the current system are needed to make the program work better for those looking for a good job, local communities, businesses and taxpayers. The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 would accomplish this by focusing on finding workers jobs and careers through strategic partnerships with in-demand sector employers, community colleges, labor organizations, and non-profits.