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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Lauds Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Workforce Investment

July 10, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congressman Joe Courtney applauded the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) last night, a bipartisan bill which reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) for the first time since 1998. WIA sets policy for state workforce investment boards, and workforce training and retraining programs. Courtney, Ranking Member of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee, has long called for reauthorizing WIA to modernize workforce training and prepare workers for high-skilled jobs.

“This is a victory for eastern Connecticut workers and middle class families,” Courtney said. “Improving workforce development programs is a valuable investment in the future of our economy. By strengthening programs that support on-the-job training for new workers, expanding access to worker retraining for modern skills, and providing opportunities for local boards to focus on skills and programs that fit best for their areas, this bill will benefit our economy and help families reach the middle class.”

"A modernization of the nation's workforce investment policy framework is long overdue so this bill is a welcome step in that direction,” said John Beauregard, Executive Director of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. “The enhanced ability to link workers with programming aimed at the latest cutting-edge and in-demand skill sets is a key to economic success not only for workers but for communities as well.  Eastern Connecticut will benefit from this update."

Prior to the vote, Courtney spoke on the House floor in support of the bill. WIOA streamlines program offerings, provides flexibility to state workforce boards, invests in employment and training activities, and supports continuing education opportunities for youth and adult workers. In June, the Senate passed the bill by a bipartisan majority of 95-3.

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