March 15, 2013. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), today issued the following statement on the passage of her legislation, the Supporting Knowledge & Investing in Lifelong Skills Act (SKILLS Act), H.R. 803, from the House of Representatives:
“The ‘suits’ in Washington do not have all the answers when it comes to helping millions of jobless Americans compete for work. The best insight and the best services for job seekers are found at the local level – with local leaders, local workforce boards, community colleges, and local employers who have jobs to fill. Those individuals should be at the helm of America’s workforce development strategy, and the SKILLS Act puts them there.
“The SKILLS Act recognizes that North Carolinians know more than Washington does about what it takes to find a job in our state. This legislation is a step in the right direction for job seekers and for taxpayers. It will simplify the current one-size-fits-all maze that the vast majority of job seekers never complete; it will prioritize education for in-demand jobs; and it will ensure that hard-earned taxpayer money spent on workforce education programs is actually being used to prepare people for good jobs, and not to pad bureaucracy.
“The SKILLS Act is a clear alternative to the complicated status quo that is failing American workers and taxpayers. The Senate should take action on the SKILLS Act without delay.”
The SKILLS Act will streamline 35 duplicative federally run workforce development programs – as highlighted by a 2011 GAO report – and create one Workforce Investment Fund. Additionally, the SKILLS Act will:
· Require a report on administrative costs and savings due to program streamlining;
· Provide more flexibility to states by removing 19 mandates that currently dictate Workforce Investment Board membership;
· Strengthen the role of state and local officials and job creators, allowing them to tailor programs to best fit their area’s needs and job opportunities;
· Facilitate greater collaboration with community colleges by allowing states to determine the standards required for eligible training providers;
· Increase focus on the delivery of basic literacy and math skills; and
· Help individuals with disabilities transition into employment.
For a list of the legislation’s supporters, click here.
To see the current workforce development maze, click here.
To see the SKILLS Act alternative, click here.
Watch Foxx address the House of Representatives on the SKILLS Act at the top and bottom of this page.
Representative Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement after supporting H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. The legislation aims to provide a more efficient network of job training services.
“With 20 million Americans unemployed or underemployed and 3.6 million job openings unfilled, it is imperative that we overcome what experts are calling ‘the skills gap.’ In 2012, President Obama called on Congress to work with him to develop a skills training program that is more efficient. However, it has been a year and the president has failed to act. That is why Congress has taken action today by passing the SKILLS Act. This legislation aims at cutting through bureaucracy and streamlining our federal workforce development programs so we can provide Americans with the skills they need to seek one of those 3.6 million jobs. By identifying duplicative and wasteful programs and reforming the broken workforce development system, we can help get Americans back to work and boost our struggling economy.”