Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.
Putting WIOA (and Americans) to Work
While Washington has largely been gridlocked, policymakers did manage to find, with full support from Business Roundtable, common ground to reauthorize a critical job training measure this summer. In addition to breaking through the policy stalemate, the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was momentous because it reauthorized programs that had languished for nearly 14 years.
Along with the streamlining, flexibility and efficiency the legislation created, WIOA presents an opportunity to build a workforce system that is informed by and reflects the interests of the business community.
Employers are a critical partner in job training. Preparing and keeping people prepared for work is one of the most important things we as the business community (and more generally, we as a nation) can do for the long-term stability and prosperity of society. The importance of ensuring Americans are ready to tackle jobs in the workforce of today and tomorrow cannot be overstated. People are what make our members’ factories hum; their shop floors function; and their offices operate.
When our CEOs recently met in Washington, we honored the members of the House and Senate committees who led the charge on WIOA enactment. We also armed CEOs with resources, the Putting WIOA to Work guide, on how they can best use the programs WIOA makes available for better results in their local communities.
WIOA is no silver bullet. As we know, it will take many initiatives across many fronts to make sure Americans are ready to work in our complex, global economy. But this new legislation will play a major role in creating a state workforce system that builds on federal support and uses state and local resources as effectively as possible. We are grateful to policymakers for reauthorizing these important programs and look forward to continuing to play our part in workforce training and education.