In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act, which was intended to address workforce development measures that are necessary for the ever-changing needs of businesses and changing workforce. The stated goal at the time was to review and revise the provisions within the legislation every five years.

Basic mathematics implies that, under the five-year provision, the law should have been reviewed twice already, with the third review coming next year. Since its passage, however, the Workforce Investment Act has never been updated. It is easy to understand, then, that the legislation does not properly reflect the realities of our economy or the current workforce.

With Ohio showing signs of a growing workforce and positive indicators of job creation, I firmly believe it is important to send a message to the federal government to finally update the Workforce Investment Act. Doing so would help bring the WIA into accordance with what our economy is actually facing today, rather than the economy of 1998.

Therefore, I was proud to cosponsor a resolution that urges the federal government to address these concerns, which will allow Ohio to move forward in responding to employer demand and the changing marketplace. If we do not do all that we can to update the way in which we train our workforce to enter the jobs market, then we will be doing a great disservice to Ohio’s citizens and families. We cannot be content to provide workforce training of the 90s for the economy of today. The WIA makes it difficult for states to respond to marketplace changes on their own.

Ohio has taken many positive steps to bring our workforce development system up to date so that the training remains relevant to the market, and thus can translate into high-skilled, quality jobs for Ohioans. By implementing measures that improves collaboration and communication between community colleges and technical schools with the private sector, we can establish a system that is always changing, but never falling behind.


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