Occupational Health & Safety

House Committee Taking Up Job Training Bill

H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, is the subject of an April 17 hearing by the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee.

A bill that would consolidate 27 federal job training and employment programs into a single Workforce Investment Fund is the subject of a hearing by the full U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee that is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. EDT April 17.

H.R. 4297 is the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, and committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., says it deserves bipartisan support.

"More than a decade ago, Congress established a national workforce investment system to provide individuals with the skills and training they need to succeed in the workplace," Kline said in a news release dated April 6. "Regrettably, the system has corroded over the years, shifting from a helpful network of employment support to what President Obama has dubbed 'a confusing maze of bureaucracy' that serves neither worker nor employer well.

"House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans recently introduced the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), legislation that will revamp and enhance the nation's job training system. By streamlining dozens of ineffective programs, strengthening the role of employers in workforce development decisions, and delivering more accountability over the use of taxpayer dollars, this common-sense proposal will help put more Americans back to work. The committee will take action to reform job training in the coming weeks, and I hope the president and our Democrat colleagues will lend their support on behalf of workers and employers," Kline said.

The bill would eliminate existing mandates affecting who can serv on local Workforce Investment Boards, which are responsible for policy and oversight of employment services; H.R. 4297 would allow local officials to appoint the remaining members and would require two-thirds of workforce board members to be employers, according to summaries of the legislation available at the committee's website.

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