ADWS Hosts Two-Day Training, Strategy Session On New Federal Workforce Legislation

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 127 views 

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will host a two-day training and strategy session beginning Tuesday to highlight key changes in the first major reform of federal job training programs in more than 15 years.

In July 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) — after it passed with virtually unanimous bipartisan support in Congress — the first update to the nation’s core workforce training programs in the 16 years since the passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

The new law mandates a restructuring of state workforce development boards so that at least 51% of their membership must represent businesses and 20% of the membership is made up of workforce representatives in the state.

In addition, the new federal workforce law reauthorizes the nation’s employment, training, adult education and vocational rehabilitation programs created under WIA by improving connections to employment and training opportunities.

For example, the federal legislation gives states more flexibility to focus on the most vulnerable workers, including income adults and youth who have limited skills, lack work experience, and face other barriers to economic success. It also expands education and training options to help participant’s access good jobs and advance in their careers.

“We look forward to bringing together the many partners and stakeholders of Arkansas’s workforce development system for this unique event,” said ADWS Director Daryl Bassett. “WIOA is the first major reform to federal job training programs in 15 years. We feel this event will help ensure Arkansas is prepared for a seamless and successful implementation of this significant reform.”

Training for the two-day workshop will be facilitated by Maher & Maher, a New Jersey-based firm that has been providing consulting services to the U.S. Department of Labor in support of the WIOA implementation. The meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Little Rock.