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Governors Applaud Deal to Improve Workforce Programs and Better Serve Unemployed

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The members of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Governors’ Council – Jim Douglas of Vermont, Brad Henry of Oklahoma, Linda Lingle of Hawaii, Sonny Perdue of Georgia and Ted Strickland of Ohio – applaud the bipartisan and bicameral deal announced today on the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act:

“Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Representatives John Kline (R-MN) and George Miller (D-CA) should be commended for putting forth several strong ideas about how to improve the effectiveness of the federal workforce system. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) were among the lead negotiators and have shown dedicated and bipartisan leadership on this issue.

“With many Americans in our home states and across the country still struggling economically, we are pleased to see a bipartisan, bicameral group come together to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s multi-layered workforce development programs. The bipartisan negotiations around the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act are the first step in this effort. We urge both chambers to quickly move this legislation and look forward to working with Congress to better align all of the federal programs with the needs of states, employers and the unemployed.

“BPC’s Governors’ Council recently released a report recommending a ten-state demonstration project that would give governors maximum flexibility to use federal resources to meet the needs of their state’s employers and those looking for work. The deal reached today on the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act includes some consolidation of programs so that federal dollars can be better used to meet the needs of the unemployed rather than on administrative expenses.”