Public Policy ActionWorkforce Development

LAEDC Adds Signature to Letter Urgeing WIA Reauthorization

By June 4, 2014 No Comments

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May 2014

Senator Tom Harkin
731 Hart SOB
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell SOB
Washington, DC 20510

Congressman John Kline
2439 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congresswomen Virginia Foxx
2350 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen SOB
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Johnny Isakson
131 Russell SOB
Washington, DC 20510

Congressman George Miller
2205 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Rueben Hinojosa
2262 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

We are writing to express our strong support of the re-authorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and the bicameral/bipartisan effort that has resulted in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. We offer our support for the bill, in particular noting the continued leadership role of business, the clear language that promotes alignment of investments in education and training, and the increasing focus on outcomes. We look forward to working with Senate and House leaders to enact the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  The work of local business-led workforce investment boards in helping chart our regions’ workforce development strategy is critical to the success of the efforts of thousands of local Chambers, our business volunteers and our partnerships with local workforce investment boards, in supporting business growth and expansion. Working together, WIBs and Chambers, we help business grow jobs and we provide the leadership so these growing businesses have the skilled workforce to fill their jobs.

As Chambers of Commerce and regional business organizations representing more than 50,000 American businesses, we are committed to robust economies anchored by healthy businesses which create and sustain good jobs.  A skilled and competitive workforce is critical for our businesses and for our communities. State and local employer-led workforce investment boards are a valued partner in these endeavors.  It is vital that our local workforce investment boards remain demand-driven, utilizing employer input and labor market data to determine local training investment decisions to address the needs and challenges of our business members. We strongly support the focus on outcomes for the Federal investments made in workforce development.

We also know from experience that locally crafted solutions developed in collaboration among organizations like chambers of commerce and economic development and business-led workforce investment boards is the best approach.  Regions that prosper have developed strong partnerships and collaboration.  We see the value in working with local workforce investment boards in convening business, civic, education, workforce development and philanthropic leaders to leverage the collective and individual assets of these systemic partners to create pathways to high demand, high growth industries, and sustainable careers to ensure the economic competitiveness of our regions.

We are confident that re-authorization will continue to align resources and produce even more effective and efficient workforce development systems.  We urge you to expeditiously pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which we see as an essential as a catalyst for continued economic recovery and growth.

Thank you for your leadership in recognizing the need for reauthorizing an improved Workforce Investment Act to best serve our workforce, businesses, and economy.