Committee Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen America’s Workforce

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced A Stronger Workforce for America Act. The bipartisan bill makes critical improvements to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that will expand the skills development provided under the law, strengthen the relationship between employers and the workforce system, and put more Americans on the pathway to successful careers. 

“For far too long, we have left our workforce development system without the resources and tools it needs to connect workers with good-paying job opportunities and help employers access a pipeline of talented workers,” said Ranking Member Scott“A Stronger Workforce for America Act delivers a long overdue update to the backbone of our workforce development system and will help ensure every American can benefit from our economic growth.  The bill makes an array of key improvements to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, such as expanding and improving the quality of skills development, strengthening services for disconnected youth, and codifying grants to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and sustainable careers.  In short, this legislation is the next step we must take to build our economy from the bottom up and the middle out.”

“An effective workforce development system is critical to ensuring a strong economy and a skilled workforce. This bipartisan bill provides crucial updates to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that will help employees compete in today’s workforce, close the skills gap, provide accountability, and most importantly, facilitate the success of American workers,” said Chairwoman Foxx.

A Stronger Workforce for America Act:

  • Upgrades the skills of American workers.
    • Dedicates 50 percent of the adult and dislocated worker funding toward upskilling workers through “individual training accounts” (ITAs) and on-the-job learning while redirecting an existing funding stream toward ITAs for displaced workers. 
    • Prioritizes employer-led initiatives that equip workers with the skill sets to fill jobs in critical industries and help the currently employed workforce upskill to avoid displacement and advance their careers.
  • Delivers greater efficiency and accountability to WIOA programs.
    • Streamlines the “eligible training provider list” to focus on outcomes and ensure eligible programs are aligned with the skill and hiring demands of employers. 
    • Strengthens and fully implements the performance accountability system in the law to hold states and local workforce boards accountable for achieving positive labor market outcomes for program participants.
  • Strengthens pathways to economic opportunity.
    • Places a greater emphasis on work-based learning for youth, codifies and strengthens a program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and access career pathways, and strengthens workforce education programs at community colleges that align with in-demand jobs. 
  • Fuels innovation for a skills-based economy. 
    • Establishes a demonstration authority to provide several states and local workforce boards the flexibility to reimagine their workforce system and innovate in pursuit of better outcomes. 
    • Facilitates skills-based hiring by validating workers’ competencies gained through prior experience and authorizing state and local boards to provide technical assistance to employers on implementing skills-based hiring practices.


Click here for a fact sheet

Click here for bill text.

Click here for a bill summary.

Click here for a section by section summary.


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