Sen. Carper Applauds Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), released the following statement after the Senate voted to pass H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

“Many economists and business leaders have argued that 21st-century jobs will go to nations that have a world-class workforce, along with robust infrastructure and a commitment to research and development of new technologies and products. This legislation makes a strong investment in American workers that will pay dividends for our nation for generations to come.

“We know that Americans are willing to work hard and learn new trades to compete in our global economy, but the reality is that our workforce is currently ill-equipped in many ways. If current trends continue, in less than 10 years the United States will lack the necessary number of workers with postsecondary education by 11 million. This bill will help close that gap through job-training programs that are focused on providing the unique tools necessary for successful employment in the communities and states in which they operate. Although our economy may be global, the skills and experience a worker may need for employment can vary widely across the country and this legislation recognizes that need for flexibility and diversity in job-training programs.

“I am particularly happy that we are going to return to the long-standing practice of giving governors access to up to 15 percent of workforce development funding in their state. As a former governor, I’ve seen firsthand how state labor departments can drive innovation in state workforce development strategies and combine these funds with other statewide initiatives to get more bang for the taxpayer buck. Especially in small states like Delaware, this provision will provide significant benefits to both job-seekers and businesses who are looking for top-quality job candidates.”