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Modernizing Workforce Development Programs to Help Workers and Businesses

A few days ago, along with top House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, I introduced legislation to improve federal workforce development programs.

A few days ago, along with top House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, I introduced legislation to improve federal workforce development programs so that they better respond to local economic needs and help workers find a good job or a new career.

Too often, I hear from local businesses who are looking to hire, but can’t find potential employees with the right training.  More effective partnerships and investments, like those at GE in Lynn and Arwood Machine Corp. in Newburyport, highlight how we can best utilize local businesses, schools and workforce training boards to make a significant difference in our country’s economy.

That’s why I am working to pass the Workforce Investment Act of 2013, legislation that would modernize the current system by promoting more effective coordination among local stakeholders including business representatives, labor organizations, educational institutions, economic development agencies, and community-based organizations. The bill would also increase taxpayer accountability of programs, and encourage innovation and best practice throughout the system.

As the Lynn Daily Item reported, it is imperative we strengthen our workforce system so people of all ages and abilities can obtain the skills and training they need and so businesses can hire and grow. My bill does just that, and it will promote and expand the kind of innovative partnerships among colleges, businesses, and workforce boards that are occurring in our area and throughout the country.

The men and women on the ground, working with our workers and our businesses agree. “Congressman's Tierney's Workforce Investment Act legislation will help train millions of workers for the new economy and strengthen the middle class,” said Verizon executive Stanley J. Usovicz, Chair of the Mass Workforce Board Association. “Employer-led partnerships across America will be strengthened as a result of this 21st century legislation to put people back to work,” added William Tinti, member of the National Association of Workforce Boards.

Enacted in 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) created local workforce investment boards (WIB) made up of community stakeholders who decide on how to respond to local economic needs. However, supporters of workforce training programs agree that improvements to the current system are needed to make the program work better for those looking for a good job, local communities, businesses and taxpayers. The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 would accomplish this by focusing on finding workers jobs and careers through strategic partnerships with in-demand sector employers, community colleges, labor organizations, and non-profits. 

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SMS February 24, 2013 at 02:11 PM
If you are waiting till your child is in college to teach them how to have a job, be a good employee etc. your too late. It is the basics of human respect that should be taught from birth. Showing respect by a hand shake, dressing appropriately for the situation, how to interact with others, saying "hi, how are you, thank you and have a nice day", and how to interact with a superior are all things they should have a clue about well before hitting college. I have taken Interpersonal Psychology in college and it is common sense manners that you should have learned as a child.
Mike Mitchell February 24, 2013 at 03:28 PM
We need an education standard that fosters independent critical thinking skills. Instead we have one that foists group-think via state mandated 'standards' that discourage young minds from daring to be different than the rest and think for themselves. If you want grow some innovators, give kids the tools but let THEM decide how to use them to their own best advantage. The new jobs will flow forth from them. Educators seem to want to believe that they know everything. They do not ... and I learned this firsthand in 60's when I told my high school advisor I wanted to take mechanical drafting. They tried to convince me that drafting was a 'vocational course' so there was 'no reason' for any student on an academic path for college to take it. But I stood my ground and got my way, (thanks to a talk I had with my civil engineer uncle). I only wish I had thought to go back to those nay-sayers later on and mention that among my first college freshman courses in engineering was ... "engineering drafting". Of course today it's CAD but no difference, whether on paper or a computer screen, there's simply no substitute to either of those for conveying a design concept or detail within it. If you want kids to think outside the box - STOP BUILDING BOXES.
Mike Mitchell February 24, 2013 at 03:50 PM
But comrade Dave, you don't understand that the state has to determine what job you are best at doing and that must be based upon what jobs they think are going to be available. So for the good of the people they have to categorize us and direct our future. (You don't expect them to leave that up to us do you?) http://lmi2.detma.org/Lmi/data/IOmatrix.xls (from http://lmi2.detma.org/Lmi/EmploymentProjections.asp )
Carl Reppucci February 24, 2013 at 08:31 PM
We should train more people to be school superintendents. Those are good paying jobs.
Joanie Stephen February 25, 2013 at 02:32 PM
We offer a program called Smart Work Ethics. We recognize that getting a job and KEEPING a job are two different things. Our emphasis is on personal responsibility in the workplace--including how to get along with a difficult boss. Check out www.SmartWorkEthics.com

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