Workplace Training Bill Passes House, Expected to Be Signed Into Law

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

One of the few employment-related bills considered by Congress this term is on its way to President Obama’s desk.

On July 9, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) by a vote of 415-6 (with 11 not voting).

As previously discussed, last month the Senate approved this bill, which primarily reauthorizes and consolidates a number of federal job training programs.

Private sector will have more input

The measure includes provisions that give private sector employers the ability to provide greater input on the types of skills needed for today’s workforce.

For example, the bill requires that each Job Corps center created by the Job Corps program maintain a workforce council, the majority of which “shall be owners of business concerns, chief executives or chief operating officers of nongovernmental employers, or other private sector employers, who:

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  • Have substantial management, hiring, or policy responsibility; and,
  • Represent businesses with employment opportunities that “reflect the employment opportunities of the applicable local areas in which enrollees will be seeking employment.”

The idea is that local employers are in the best position to know which skills best meet job demands.

President Obama is expected to sign this measure into law shortly.

More information on the bill can be found here.

This was originally published on Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Update blog© 2014 Littler Mendelson. All Rights Reserved. Littler®, Employment & Labor Law Solutions Worldwide® and ASAP® are registered trademarks of Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Ilyse W. Schuman is a shareholder in the Washington, D.C. office of Littler Mendelson. She provides strategic counsel and representation to clients on a broad array of workplace issues and developments in Congress and executive branch federal agencies.

She is a member of the firm's Government Affairs practice and works with employers in multiple industries, including trade associations. She also leads the firm's Legislative and Regulatory practice.

A former top congressional staffer and policy advisor, Ilyse worked on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2001 to 2008, serving as minority staff director and chief counsel. She began her work in the Senate as chief labor counsel for Senator Mike Enzi on the Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training, where she led legislative and oversight activities.

After leaving the Senate, Schuman joined a leading trade association of electro-industry manufacturers as vice president, where she served as managing director of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Additionally, she served as in-house counsel at a manufacturer and market and technology leader, where she advised the company on human resource matters. In law school, she was a member of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.

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