As many of you who follow my blog know, ASTD has been advocating
and stressing to members of Congress and their staffs the past few
years of the importance of reauthorizing the Workforce Investment
Act (WIA). Originally passed in 1998 (pre-Google), it is in dire
need of updating, revamping and refocusing the activities of the
workforce system to ensure that people are trained in the skills
needed by employers.
The last two Congressional sessions started with promising
outlooks, but they ended in no reauthorized bill. In January of
this year, there was a renewed optimism and enthusiasm (especially
in the Senate) for something significant to be achieved in this
Earlier this year, ASTD went up to the Hill with a group of ASTD's
Policy Council members to meet with senior staff of the Senate
Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions committee (HELP). Staff was
interested in hearing from employers who had used the public system
and wanted their feedback on a possible reauthorized bill. We had
a great meeting; and the feedback was that sometime this summer,
the Senate would submit a bill in the committee and hopefully to
the floor of the Senate.
Also earlier this summer, ASTD met with staff on the House
Education and the Workforce committee on WIA reauthorization and
other training related legislation in the House. Although it
appears that the House is also willing to reauthorize WIA, they
would take a different approach. If both bills were passed each
part of Congress, this would lead to a conference committee
situation to work out the differences on the bills.
In July, the Senate HELP committee scheduled a full committee
hearing to "mark-up" a reauthorized bill. This is the process by
which the committee moves through the contents of a bill, debating
and voting on amendments to its provisions by revising, adding or
subtracting language prior to ordering the measure reported out
(voted on) the to the full Senate for a vote. Although this
committee meeting was moved several times this summer due to the
debt limit debates, it appears to have moved off the committee's
calendar for now.
ASTD will continue to monitor WIA activities in the House and
Senate and will continue to update members in this blog post. Chapter Leaders who are coming to ALC and who sign up for
Congressional Conversations will be joining us back on Capitol
Hill. We will be talking to members of Congress and their staff on
WIA and other training related legislation. If you're a Chapter
leader, please consider joining us for this event!