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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [02/16/2012]
Contact Name: Jason Kuruvilla
Phone Number: (202) 693-6587
Release Number: 12-0340-NAT

Statement by Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on workforce investment

WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office recently released and testified today on its report titled Workforce Investment Act: Innovative Collaborations Between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Local Needs (GAO-12-97). Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has issued the following statement:

"The findings in the report emphasized that stronger partnerships between employers and federally funded workforce programs lead to improved employment and retention outcomes for our nation's workers, something that the U.S. Department of Labor does very well through our Employment and Training Administration. The report also reaffirms the importance of reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to help meet the needs of regional and local economies, and enhance the skills of workers to more effectively compete in the job market.

"As GAO points out in its report, we are working across federal agencies to streamline administrative processes and create better alignment of resources and programs to ensure effective service delivery. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education continue to seek opportunities to develop joint guidance to states and local grantees, and to implement cross-cutting demonstration projects that encourage partnerships and improve models for delivering quality services across programs at lower costs.

"In the report, GAO recommended that the Department of Labor compile information on local workforce boards 'that effectively leverage WIA funds with other funding sources and disseminate this information in a readily accessible manner.' We agree with GAO's recommendation.

"The department has begun work to design the next generation of online technical assistance for the public workforce system's leaders and practitioners, agency grantees, and other key partners and stakeholders. As part of this effort, we are developing ways to identify promising practices and incorporate and disseminate this information through guidance, virtual and in-person technical assistance, and outreach efforts.

We will continue to take the necessary steps to improve the way our workforce system functions so that employers and workers alike can thrive in our economy."