PITTSBURGH (July 22, 2014) — Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB) cheers the historic bipartisan, bicameral workforce legislation — the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act — signed into law today by President Barack Obama.
"This is a tremendous step forward in helping the unemployed, vulnerable populations and employers alike," said Stefani Pashman, 3RWIB chief executive officer. "The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act modernizes the public workforce system to help millions of Americans — and thousands of workers in the Pittsburgh region — find the jobs they need to provide for their families while simultaneously helping employers find the talent they require to compete in a global economy. "
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and will streamline the public workforce system to make it more effective, efficient and accountable. It promotes the employer-driven training programs job seekers need to compete for and advance in in-demand, family-sustaining jobs; reduces bureaucracy; and untangles a web of confusing federal programs meant to help people find work.
Some key components of WIOA include:
An increased focus on industry-recognized certificates and credentials linked to in-demand occupations
Enhances the flexibility of federal workforce funds
Sets a common performance standard for all programs under the bill
Eliminates ineffective and duplicative federal workforce development programs
Improved outreach to disconnected youth
WIOA also affirms that local, business-led workforce investment boards, such as 3RWIB, are paramount to organizing and leading the public workforce system as the coordinator of economic development, education and community-based partners.
Federal workforce Investment dollars provide career counseling, skills assessments, and job training to more than 20 million Americans each year, more than 32,000 adults in Allegheny County through PA CareerLink® centers. These funds provide services to numerous populations including dislocated workers, veterans, youth and older workers. WIOA allows this important work to continue.
"We are thrilled and ready to continue to serve the region's job seekers and employers with new and powerful tools," Pashman said. "This Act is long overdue and will help the public workforce system meet the needs of 21st century."
About Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board
As the leader of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County's public workforce system, Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB) works to ensure that the current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met. With tens of thousands of jobs available in the Pittsburgh region, 3RWIB bridges the gap between people looking for work and companies in need of talent. More information is available at www.trwib.org.
Nationally recognized for innovation, Partner4Work delivers workforce solutions for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to ensure the current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met. As stewards of more than $20 million in public and private workforce funds, Partner4Work oversees and funds workforce programs for adults, dislocated workers and youth; educates the community through robust labor market analytics; and implements innovative solutions to the region's systemic workforce challenges. Partner4Work bridges the gap between people looking for work and companies in need of talent. More information is available at www.partner4work.org.