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WIA Authorization Thank You Letter

May 30, 2014

Dear Sen. Harkin, Rep. Kline, Sen. Alexander, Rep. Miller, Sen. Murray, Rep. Foxx, Sen. Isakson, and Rep. Hinojosa:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, we thank you for crafting a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reauthorize programs supporting our nation’s workforce development system via the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

NEA appreciates that the bill maintains the basic structure of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA); includes labor representation on workforce boards; provides work-based learning opportunities for young people and more services for low-income, low-skill workers; and enhances the focus on successful transitions to post-secondary opportunities for adult basic education students. We particularly appreciate the improvement in the infrastructure funding provision that ensures federal programs partnering with the workforce system can still meet their primary statutory obligations.

While we are pleased that the bill improves community college participation in the workforce system in a number of ways, NEA maintains its commitment to increasing the voice of educators themselves in the workforce system.

This long overdue legislation is a step forward in ensuring that young people are better prepared to enter the workforce, and that adult workers have the skills they need to meet the workforce demands of a changing economy. We look forward to working with you to ensure swift passage of this long overdue reauthorization.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations