NACo: Local Support Needed on Workforce Investment Act

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has been working with a consortium of national workforce organizations to advance Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization legislation to enhance the nation’s workforce development system. NACo is now encouraging individual counties, their workforce development agencies and local chambers of commerce to sign a WIA support letter.

Local elected officials play a pivotal role in the administration of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) according to NACo.

The leadership role of elected officials is essential to maximizing WIA’s impact in state and local jurisdictions through collaboration with state and local Workforce Investment Boards, and setting policy for the workforce system to achieve broader human capital and economic development goals. The chief elected official is designated in local operating agreements covering local workforce investment areas, and plays a key role in WIA, as the vast majority of the funds flow to the local level to be invested in alignment with a local plan.

As described by NACo, the bipartisan Senate WIA reauthorization bill will maintain a locally-based and private sector-driven system that would improve education and training opportunities for jobseekers and address the needs of employers for a skilled workforce. The Senate WIA reauthorization bill would:

  •  maintain local workforce development systems and local elected officials’ role in the administration of WIA
  • empower local workforce agencies to tailor their WIA programs to the specific needs of their communities
  • maintain the business majority on workforce boards while reducing the overall size of state and local boards
  • apply one set of common performance measures to each workforce program supported by WIA

For more information, including background on the WIA movement, see NACo’s policy brief on WIA Reauthorization, and NACo’s letter in support of WIA Reauthorization through S. 1356. If you have questions, contact NACo Associate Legislative Director Daria Daniel or 202.942.4212. Click here to sign the WIA support letter urging the Senate to move WIA reauthorization legislation forward. The deadline for signatures is Thursday, October 31.

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