House Education and Workforce Committee Holds Oversight Hearing on Workforce Law
On Thursday, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing, “Strengthening WIOA: Improving Outcomes for Jobseekers, Employers, and Taxpayers,” to examine the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA supports efforts to improve workforce participation, an Title IV of the Act amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The largest program within Title IV is the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants, which provide funding to state agencies to support employment-related services for individuals with disabilities. Title IV is administered by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services within the U.S. Department of Education. Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development Chairman Burgess Owens (R-UT) noted the difficult political climate and observed that the last time the workforce bill was reauthorized, Congress and the White House had the same political makeup, opining that perhaps the bill could be reauthorized despite political polarization. Burgess’ top priorities in a reauthorization bill are “cutting bureaucracy, delivering accountability, and encouraging innovation.” Ranking Member Frederica Wilson (D-FL) listed “fully investing in the system, reducing barriers for underserved workers, and improving the quality of job opportunities,” as her priorities, stressing that increasing funding for WIOA is essential.
To view the hearing and related materials, go here.