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Senate passes legislation that would update Workforce Investment Act

Updated: Wednesday, July 2 2014, 05:38 PM EDT
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- United States Senator Sherrod Brown was in the Ohio Valley on Wednesday, where he announced that the Senate passed legislation that would update the Workforce Investment Act.
The Act is designed to help dislocated workers acquire the skills for high-tech jobs in their region. Brown said there is a disconnect between workers and employers, and this legislation should eliminate that gap.
Training and education are two pivotal elements in replenishing a depleted workforce, which something that the WIA is geared toward correcting.
"It trains workers for jobs that companies need," Brown said. "Companies need these qualified workers. It's more efficient; it's more effective; and ultimately it means that workers can find jobs in the fields they're trained for, which is the whole point of this."
Christina Worken was one of those displaced workers who utilized the Act and help from the CAC to transition into a welding position.   
Qualifications for aid from the Act include an evaluation on household income, circumstances surrounding unemployment (such as being laid off), and criteria for the demanded occupation.
"I'm not saying that I wouldn't have gone that direction had it not been for the financial aspect of it all," Worken said. "But it offered me something that gave me the confidence to believe in myself and believe that I can become a welder."
The Act was first passed in 1998 to encourage local businesses to work with the federal government in developing workforce development.
After changing workforce demands over time, it was in need of some fine tuning.
"... Job training and workforce investment laws will be updated so they're more flexible for young people today," Brown said.
This Act has only been passed in the senate and is currently sitting in the house.
There is no timeframe for when it could be passed.

Senate passes legislation that would update Workforce Investment Act

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