Loebsack Praises Inclusion of SECTORS Act in Workforce Development Overhaul
Legislation works on the local level to train workers to compete in 21st Century global economy
Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that large portions of his signature legislation, the SECTORS Act, were incorporated into the bipartisan, bicameral agreement to improve the nation’s workforce development system. This plan, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin, Rep. John Kline, Rep. George Miller and Rep. Virginia Fox, among others, is designed to improve the nation’s workforce development system through new legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Loebsack’s SECTORS Act links together businesses, labor organizations, local stakeholders, and education and training providers connected to a particular industry. These partnerships work to develop or implement plans for growing or saving that targeted industry, promoting long-term competitiveness and advancing employment opportunities for workers. The inclusion of the legislation will ensure employees on the local level are properly trained so they can effectively compete in the 21st Century global economy. Loebsack first introduced the SECTORS Act in 2009 and the House of Representatives unanimously passed it in 2010. While it was not taken up in the Senate, Loebsack has continued to fight for its passage.
“As I meet with business leaders in Iowa, I hear time and time again that they are unable to find workers with the skill sets they need to hire, despite high unemployment rates. There is a gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and the kind of skills that businesses need. That is why my SECTORS Act is so important. Sector partnerships will work to address this gap by targeting workforce development efforts to foster the kind of skills that local businesses need right now.
“Sector partnerships have proven effective in revitalizing our manufacturing sector and helping to create high-skill, high-wage jobs here at home. They work at the local level to ensure employees are properly trained so they can effectively compete in the 21st Century global economy. I am pleased that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act adds a requirement at the local level for implementation of sector partnerships and I will continue to fight to provide additional supports for these collaborations.”
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act represents a compromise between the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed the House of Representatives in March of 2013 with bipartisan support, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356). It has been over a decade since the Workforce Investment Act has been reauthorized.