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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - June 17, 2024

Senate Holds First Hearing Examining WIOA Reauthorization


Washington Update


Appropriations

The House Appropriations Committee is currently making its way through the 12 FY25 government spending bills, but Committee Chairman Tom Cole (OK) has already said the bill funding Labor-HHS-Education and related agencies will most likely take longer, with possible delay until after the election. The Labor-HHS subcommittee is set to consider the bill in a couple weeks with the full committee scheduled to mark up the spending bill the second week of July. House Republicans are expecting a 10 to 11 percent cut for the Labor-HHS-Education bill as a whole.

On Tuesday, June 11, 41 senators sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (WA) and ranking member Susan Collins (ME) urging them to ‘stay vigilant’ in keeping the FY25 bills ‘free of any controversial, anti-environmental policy riders,’ warning that “the inclusion of unrelated provisions has undermined the Senate’s ability in previous years to pass funding measures.”

Click here to read the letter.


Senate WIOA Reauthorization Hearing

On Wednesday, June 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held its first hearing on Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reauthorization (the House already passed its bill to reauthorize WIOA on April 9 by a 378-26 vote). During the hearing, HELP Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (LA) cited low labor force participation rates and the need for increased training while calling for improvements to the legislation. Several expert witnesses called for increased funding for the workforce system. Witnesses for the hearing include Taylor White M.Ed from the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship; David Bradley, PhD from Jobs for the Future; Monty Sullivan PhD from Louisiana Community and Technical College System; Lisa Bly-Jones PhD from Chicago Jobs Council; and Matthew Dickerson from Mid South Extrusion.

On Tuesday, June 11, and Wednesday, June 12, several pieces of legislation (full list of concept drafts included below) were introduced related to WIOA reauthorization, including a bill that would amend WIOA to improve provisions relating to providers of training services, and one that would expand the types of one-stop centers used to provide services; however, the upper chamber has still not introduced one comprehensive bill. Senator Tommy Tuberville (AL) introduced legislation, the Workforce DATA Act, that would improve data sharing within WIOA. The bill would clarify responsibilities of data collection, increase participation standards, and help businesses hire skilled workers. Multiple bills related to WIOA reauthorization were introduced.

Click here to access a video of the hearing.

Click here to access the press release on the Workforce DATA Act.


Click here to access information on WIOA reauthorization concept drafts.


Climate-Ready Workforce Initiative

On Tuesday, June 11, the U.S. Department of of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced $60 million in funding to help train and place people in jobs that advance a climate-ready workforce for coastal and Great Lakes states, tribes and territories as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act. The funding, which is part of NOAA’s Climate-Ready Workforce initiative, will support nine projects across the country and support sectoral partnerships that will develop and implement job training programs that will include wraparound services to help make training opportunities more accessible. The Climate-Ready Workforce initiative is focused on preparing and placing people in good jobs that will advance climate resilience nationwide, ensuring coastal communities are prepared for the worst impacts of climate change. The program will also assist employers in developing a 21st-century workforce that is climate literate and skilled at addressing climate challenges.

Click here to read the full list of winners.


Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending June 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 242,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 229,000. The 4-week moving average was 227,000, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 222,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending June 1, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the full report.


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