The bipartisan effort to jumpstart federal job training efforts is expected to benefit private employers thirsty for more input into how their future workforces are trained and educated.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved amendments from the Senate in a 415-6 vote for the H.R. 803, also known as the job-training bill. Meanwhile, as expectations point to President Barack Obamas signing the bill shortly, policy and legal experts in the employment space say the proposal answers some of the demands by employers and labor groups for a more vigorous and focused workforce development system.
Ilyse Wolens Schuman, co-chair of Littler Mendelsons Workplace Policy Institute, an employment lobbyist organization, says the bill reauthorizes and consolidates a slew of federal job training programs. It also has benefits for HR managers at private companies.
Jobs Corps, a free education and training program aimed to help young adults with vocational training and basic high school-level education, will now implement a workforce council that is made up chief executives and business owners of nongovernmental employers. The program will also raise its maximum age of eligibility by three years to 24-years-old.
The measure includes provisions that give the private sector employers the ability to provide greater input on the types of skills needed for todays workforce, she said in a July 9 update. Schuman did not immediately respond to EBNs requests for additional comment.
The idea is that local employers are in the best position to know which skills best meet job demands, Schuman continued.
Meanwhile, Richard B. Cohen, a partner at Fox Rothschild, explains that this effort by Congress is expected to help educate employees who were undereducated, who were not well educated, not sufficiently trained for this centurys jobs and the jobs that are needed by industry.
Also see: Implementing a DIY fix to the skills gap
This has long been a plea of the employer [sector] that we need workers who are literate, who are technologically proficient and who can work in todays highly skilled workforce, Cohen tells EBN. Weve been woefully behind other countries in that regard, and maybe this is the first step.
Its not yet clear when these first steps might actually occur, as inquiries to the White House seeking additional information regarding the legislations status were not immediately returned.
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