H.R. 803, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

H.R. 803

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Date
July 9, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
David Smentek

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 803 was introduced on February 25, 2013 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and passed in the House on March 15, 2013 by a vote of 215-202.[1]  An amended version of the bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 95-3.[2]  H.R. 803 represents a bipartisan agreement between the House and Senate to reauthorize workforce training and development activities.

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[1] See Roll Call #75.
[2] See Recorded Vote 214.

Bill Summary

H.R. 803 reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).This legislation strengthens and streamlines workforce development activities by: 1) eliminating 15 duplicative and ineffective programs; 2) reducing the number of members required on workforce boards at the State and local level; 3) requiring States to submit one unified four-year workforce plan to address all core programs reducing administrative costs and reporting requirements; 4) requiring States to consult with local boards and elected officials to identify local areas and planning regions that are in alignment with labor markets and regional economic development areas; 5) improving transparency and performance accountability by creating standard performance indicators; 6) including a process describing the partner contributions for infrastructure funding; 7) targeting assistance for youth who face severe barriers to employment and education; 8) requiring State boards to establish criteria in assessing the effectiveness of one-stop career centers and delivery systems; 9) improving the Job Corps program by strengthening contracting requirements and performance metrics; 10) allowing for pay-for-performance strategies to fund what works in a local community; and 11) allowing 100 percent transferability of funding between the two largest grant programs, WIA Adult and WIA Dislocated Worker, providing local leaders with maximum flexibility to help those most in need in their community.

Moreover, this legislation reauthorizes the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act to require the integration of basic adult education with occupational skills training and the use of career pathways.  It also requires independent evaluations to measure all adult education activities once every four years.  In addition, H.R. 803 amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 to improve employment services and reauthorizes the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Background

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 is the “primary federal program that supports workforce development.”[3]  “Workforce development programs provide a combination of education and training services to prepare individuals for work and to help them improve their prospects in the labor market.”[4]  WIA authorized appropriations from FY 1999 through FY 2003.  Although authorizing language expired in FY 2003, programs under WIA have received annual appropriations through the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act.

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[3] David H. Bradley, “The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System,” Congressional Research Service (June 14, 2013), p. 1.
[4] Id. at 1.

Cost

CBO has indicated that implementing this legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.