Workforce Development

A trained, readily available workforce is essential to retain existing industries and to attract new ones in America’s communities. Regional councils and MPOs promote regional and market-based approaches to worker training through strategic alliances with the private sector, community leaders and academic institutions. Local elected officials, many who serve on regional council and MPO boards, provide strong leadership and sound oversight for workforce programs, including by participating in state and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs).

Workforce Development Policy Brief

Workforce Development programs enhance a regions economic stability and prosperity by focusing on people rather than businesses. In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act, which is the primary source of federal funding for workforce development activities. The intention of  WIA was to provide job training and employment services for workers ranging from dislocated workers to low-income adults and youth through a universal system of one-stop career centers. While important changes to WIA were outlined under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009, the law has not been reauthorized since 1998. In March of 2013 on a near party-line vote, the House passed its version of reauthorization – the SKILLS Act (HR 803) – which makes drastic changes, cuts and consolidations to the workforce development system. In the Senate, a bipartisan bill is being considered that would update, streamline and improve the workforce service delivery system while retaining the local governance structure and flexibility.

More information on Workforce Investment Act reauthorization and policy resources are available HERE. NARC’s policy statement on Workforce Development is available HERE.

NARC Member Case Studies

Workforce Development Resources

NARC Resources

Federal Resources

U. S. Department of Labor (DOL)

Make it in America Challenge

Non-Profit Resources

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