Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

June 25, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Senate passes Patty Murray-backed jobs-training bill

Patty MurrayWASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday  reauthorized the nation’s main jobs-training bill, updating the Clinton-era legislation to help Americans — particularly disadvantaged youth and laid-off workers — prepare for an increasingly-skilled labor market.

The six-year reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed by a 95-3 vote.

The legislation expired in 2003 and Congress has been funding the various training programs through annual appropriations.

The measure now heads for expected passage in the House. It then will go to President Obama, whose administration before the vote Wednesday lauded the bipartisan compromise and called for the bill’s swift passage.

The approval is a triumph for Sen. Patty Murray. The Washington Democrat was one of half dozen principle bipartisan architects of the bill, which melded clashing proposals passed separately by House Republicans and a Senate committee. Murray worked especially closely with Sen. Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia.

On the Senate floor, Murray said the updated law will enable Americans to fill the “high-tech jobs of the next century.”

The act would  steadily increase spending on training programs to about $10 billion in 2020. It also would shift the funding formula for youth program so that 75 percent of the money is earmarked for teens and young adults who are not in school or employed.

The act for the first time would allow local workforce agencies and nonprofits to spend a portion of their grants for employed workers who may be in danger of being laid off. It also imposes new benchmarks to ensure that more workers who go through training programs emerge with certifications they could use to land jobs.

Currently, agencies primarily track job placements, retention rates and average wages without really measuring the level of skills that trainees attain.

 

 

Comments | More in Congress, U.S. Senate | Topics: job training, patty murray

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►