Congressional Workforce Development Progress

Workforce Development

On April 5, the House Education and Labor Committee advanced the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) Act of 2022, which reauthorizes the federal workforce development system. Among other things the bill includes the following provisions:

  • Full funding for WIOA programs by authorizing $74 billion over six years, which will allow the workforce system to serve one million workers per year by 2028
  • Establishes a permanent Department of Labor program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and access sustainable career pathways
  • Expands summer and year-round jobs programs for youth
  • Strengthens the quality of the Jobs Corps program
  • Codifies partnerships between employers and community colleges to provide high-quality job training
  • Strengthens industry and sector partnerships to better meet the needs of both employers and job seekers
  • Provides funding for innovative approaches to workforce development.

The bill passed out of committee without a single Republican vote. Republican opposition stems from a perception that the bill was pulled together largely without their input and that its many provisions represent a federal government overreach into employer workforce decisions.

The full House is expected to consider the legislation later this spring.

House Sign-On Letter to Promote Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Workforce Development

As the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations process begins, House CTE Caucus chairmen Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) are leading a “Dear Colleague” letter to be sent to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee requesting robust funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) in the FY 2023 Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations bill. Committee members view these “Dear Colleague” letters as a critical part of the process because they show the breadth of support a specific program. Representatives Langevin and Thompson have begun circulating their letter and are seeking additional House members to sign on.

Our friends at the Association for Career and Technical Education have shared their action alert to help spread the word on the CTE “Dear Colleague” letter.

To Take Action 

Legislation Promoting Apprenticeships in Conference Committee

This week, both the House and Senate named conferees to negotiate differences between the House-passed American COMPETES Act and Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA)—bills aimed at increasing the United States’ competitiveness with China.

Recall that the American COMPETES Act  includes provisions of the National Apprenticeship Act, legislation that seeks to expand apprenticeship opportunities for workers and make apprenticeships more responsive to the demands of the modern workforce. The Senate bill (USICA) does not include this language.

We expect conference committee negotiations to work out differences in the two bills to begin in earnest later in April and continue throughout the month of May.