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As part of a coalition, ABC submitted comments June 15 to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Department of Education (DOE) on proposed rules for the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). ABC and the coalition offered its input in a number of areas where the public workforce system under WIOA can be better aligned with the needs of employers.

In its comments, ABC and its coalition partners addressed the following provisions included in the proposed rule:

  • Local Workforce Board Membership; 
  • One-Stop Delivery and Apprenticeship;
  • Recognized Post-Secondary Credentials;
  • Work-Based Training; and
  • Employer Satisfaction Performance Measures
The coalition disagreed with the DOL interpretation of the statute, which claims that the use of the plural “representatives” means that at least two labor organization representatives are the minimum number of labor organizations required to be represented on the board.  The coalition argued that mandating two or more members of labor organizations disproportionately represents the demographic makeup of workers in an area where labor organization membership may not be very high.

ABC and its coalition partners also proposed language that would create a more specific definition of “Recognized Post-Secondary Credential.”  Adding references to certificate programs, and industry-recognized credentials, clearly ensures that local Workforce Boards and policymakers can neither over prioritize higher education credentials, nor approve credentials that are not recognized by multiple employers in a region or industry.

Despite these efforts at the national level to improve the public workforce system, a great deal of work still remains at the state and local level to further determine local market priorities and implementation policies for training programs. To find your state or local workforce investment board and contact them about getting involved, click here.

Passed by Congress in 2014 and signed into law on July 22, WIOA reauthorizes of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and authorizes billions in workforce training dollars that are passed through state and local governments to provide opportunities for job seekers and help local industries build a skilled workforce.

Click here for more information on the details of the proposed rulemaking.