WATCH: Chairman Scott Leads House Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Fill Job Openings, Help Workers Access Better-Paying Jobs

WASHINGTON – Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks during today’s floor debate on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 (H.R. 7309).

Chairman Scott Leads House Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Fill Job Openings, Help Workers Access Better-Paying Jobs

View Chairman Scott’s floor remarks on YouTube.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, is the backbone of our nation’s workforce development system. Each year, WIOA programs help working people across the country get the skills they need to find better paying careers and help employers access a dedicated and skilled workforce.

“Unfortunately, our investment in workforce development has fallen significantly over time. While the U.S. labor force has grown by approximately 50 percent over the past four decades, federal investment—when adjusted for inflation—in workforce development has fallen by two-thirds.

“This underinvestment hurts workers; it hurts businesses; and it hurts our economy’s competitive edge. Other developed countries spend half to one percent of their gross domestic product on workforce development. We spend only one-tenth of one percent.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 addresses this chronic underinvestment so that we can finally meet the needs of workers and businesses, fill job openings with qualified workers, reduce supply chain shortage, and lower costs for families.

“By investing approximately $80 billion over six years, this legislation would more than double the number of people receiving training services in Fiscal Year 2023, and allow us to train one million workers per year by 2028.

“The legislation modernizes WIOA to help expand work opportunities for disconnected youth. It makes critical reforms to improve Job Corps. It expands sector-based training so that we can train for entire sectors, such as electric cars, trucking, and nursing. It strengthens community colleges’ capacity to help workers succeed in in-demand industries. And it helps justice-involved individuals reenter the labor force and obtain sustainable career paths.

“Madame Speaker, if we want to keep our global competitive edge; if we want to lower costs; and if we want to accelerate our economic recovery, then we must pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022.

“This legislation is the product of a largely bipartisan, year-long effort, including a bipartisan roundtable and three bipartisan hearings in our committee. While many of my counterparts across the aisle have voiced opposition to the investments in the bill, I remain hopeful that my colleagues will join me in voting to stand with America’s workers.

“I want to thank the chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee, Ms. Wilson, for her work on this critical priority, and I urge support for the bill.”


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