WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding Congressional approval of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:
"Congress has taken a strong, decisive bipartisan step forward with the passage by both the Senate and the House of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. I applaud the members from both sides of the aisle who led the way to forge this compromise.
"Democrats and Republicans have come together on a bill that is good for workers, employers and the economy as a whole. It will help more people succeed in 21st century jobs and punch their ticket to the middle class. And it will help businesses hire the world-class, highly-skilled workforce required to compete successfully in the global economy.
"WIOA improves the workforce system, aligning it with regional economies and strengthening the network of about 2,500 American Job Centers, to deliver more comprehensive services to workers, job seekers and employers. The bill will build closer ties among key workforce partners — business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges and non-profits and state and local officials — as we strive for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development. President Obama's ongoing review of federal training programs, led by Vice President Biden, will further ensure that we are doing everything possible to prepare ready-to-work-Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. WIOA also improves performance accountability, so consumers can get information about programs that work and taxpayers can have confidence that they are getting the best services for their money.
"Better-trained workers; more profitable businesses; stronger, smarter investments in our people and our economy — Congress has demonstrated that these are principles that transcend partisanship. I am excited to see President Obama sign this bill and to continue working with him and Congress on our shared goal of strengthening the nation's workforce."