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 Obama’s 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.

Also see: Reform to federal workforce training may provide positives to employers

Ilyse Wolens Schuman, co-chair of Littler Mendelson’s 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 today’s workforce,” she said in a July 9 update. Schuman did not immediately respond to EBN’s 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.

Also see: Public benefits managers need to adopt private sector strategies

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 century’s 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 today’s highly skilled workforce,” Cohen tells EBN. “We’ve been woefully behind other countries in that regard, and maybe this is the first step.”

It’s not yet clear when these first steps might actually occur, as inquiries to the White House seeking additional information regarding the legislation’s status were not immediately returned.

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