Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Supports Bipartisan Job Training Reform Bill that Heads to President’s Desk

July 9, 2014
Press Release

Biggest Overhaul of Workforce Training System in Two Decades Set to Become Law

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03) voted for the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (H.R. 803) which helps American workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, improves existing federal job training programs, and connects businesses with the skilled employees they need. The legislation, which passed the Senate by a 95-3 vote, just passed the House by a 415-6 vote and is expected to be quickly signed by the President.

“America is the land of second chances. When forces beyond our control knock us down, we get back up again,” said Congressman Garamendi. “This bipartisan job training bill will help American workers sharpen their skills to land secure middle-class employment at the businesses that need their skills. It will more effectively leverage the resources at our community colleges and bring more out-of-school youth and Americans with disabilities into the workforce. Simply put, it will ensure that more people can Make It In America once again.”

As a California State Legislator, Garamendi authored legislation that created the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program, which became the model for President Clinton’s bipartison welfare reform law.

Garamendi added, “Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all want a government that responds to their needs. This Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act eliminates government programs that have outlived their utility. It modernizes our best job training programs, so they meet the needs of today’s economy, allow for greater local discretion, and provide support based on clear metrics of how well they perform.”


The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act creates a streamlined workforce development system by:

·         Eliminating 15 existing programs;

·         Applying a single set of outcome metrics to every federal workforce program under the Act;

·         Creating smaller, nimbler, and more strategic state and local workforce development boards;

·         Integrating intake, case management and reporting systems while strengthening evaluations; and

·         Eliminating the “sequence of services” and allowing local areas to better meet the unique needs of individuals.

It provides greater value by:

·         Maintaining the 15 percent funding reservation at the state level to allow states the flexibility to address specific needs;

·         Empowering local boards to tailor services to their region’s employment and workforce needs; and

·         Supporting access to real-world education and workforce development opportunities through:

o   On-the-job, incumbent worker, and customized training;

o   Pay-for-performance contracts; and

o   Sector and pathway strategies.

It provides better coordination by:

·         Aligning workforce development programs with economic development and education initiatives;

·         Enabling businesses to identify in-demand skills and connect workers with the opportunities to build those skills;

·         Supporting strategic planning and streamlining current governance and administration by requiring core workforce programs to develop a single, comprehensive state plan to break down silos, reduce administrative costs,  and streamline reporting requirements; and

·         Ensuring individuals with disabilities have the skills necessary to be successful in businesses that provide competitive, integrated employment.

It provides improved outreach to disconnected youth by:

·         Focusing youth program services on out-of-school youth, high school dropout recovery efforts, and attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials.

·         Providing youth with disabilities the services and support they need to be successful in competitive, integrated employment.

Additional Fact Sheets:

·         Summary of the bill

·         Key Improvements from Current Law

·         Title IV: Disability-Related Workforce Training Provisions

·         Support from more than 30 organizations and businesses