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Job Training Legislation Protects Valuable Taxpayer Resources

The nation’s debt is fast approaching $16 trillion and experts warn the country is on the brink of a crisis. While the White House tries in vain to deny its own fiscal recklessness, House Republicans are moving forward with responsible solutions to root out government waste and better protect taxpayers.

As part of that effort, Republican leaders on the House Education and the Workforce Committee have introduced legislation to ensure funds for federal job training programs are spent more efficiently. The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297) promotes better use of taxpayer resources by:

Streamlining a Broken System

  • The current workforce investment system is fragmented with over 47 separate programs spread across nine federal agencies. Virtually every program has its own set of rules and performance measures, making it difficult for local workforce development leaders to manage these programs and harder for workers to find the support they need.
  • H.R. 4297 eliminates and consolidates more than 25 redundant and ineffective programs. Instead of confronting a confusing maze of programs, workers will be able to access support through a single, flexible Workforce Investment Fund. This streamlined workforce development system will help guarantee taxpayer dollars support workers – not a bloated bureaucracy.

Ensuring Programs and Funding Directly Support Worker Training

  • Under current law, workers must undergo a cumbersome “sequence of services” before they can receive job training. These required services delay access to meaningful training opportunities, depleting taxpayer resources in the process. In addition to money wasted on unnecessary requirements, there are widespread concerns that too many federal funds are spent on administration and infrastructure costs instead of workforce training.
  • H.R. 4297 removes the arbitrary “sequence of services” and allows workers to receive training immediately. The bill also requires local leaders to reserve a percentage of funds specifically for training to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent on providing workers with the skills and education necessary to succeed in the workplace.

Promoting Accountability and Transparency

  • A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found only a handful of federal job training programs have ever been evaluated for effectiveness. Despite spending an estimated $18 billion each year on job training and employment service programs, the federal government has largely failed to assess the success of this considerable taxpayer investment.
  • H.R. 4297 strengthens accountability by establishing common performance measures, such as the number of individuals employed in the field for which they received training and the wages workers earn after receiving assistance. The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 also requires the Secretary of Labor to conduct an independent evaluation of all job training activities at least once every five years.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are committed to advancing fiscally responsible job training reforms that support our nation’s workers and employers without wasting taxpayer resources. The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will help overcome the nation’s skills gap, streamline federal workforce development services, and eliminate arbitrary roadblocks that prevent workers from accessing the training and education they need.

To learn more about H.R. 4297, click here.

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