National League of Cities Fully Supports the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Washington, D.C. - National League of Cities (NLC) President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., wrote to Congressional sponsors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803, as amended). NLC fully supports the bill as written because it provides much needed modernization and streamlining of the nation's workforce system.

There are a number of specific provisions that will allow cities and towns to help the unemployed in their communities:

  • First, the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act reaffirms the strong partnership between local elected officials, local business leaders and the local workforce development system. 
  • Second, it establishes regional workforce development areas that reflect local labor markets and economic development areas, rather than political jurisdictions. 
  • Third, it thoughtfully merges those programs that are redundant but leaves in place programs that address the needs of unique populations including YouthBuild and the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, along with programs for disadvantaged adults, youth and dislocated workers. These and other programs are necessary for the continued success of the nation's workforce development system. 
  • Fourth, it would provide local programs with significant flexibility, allowing service providers to meet the range of employment and training needs individuals might need without following prescribed steps or requirements.
  • Finally, it strengthens the role of local business in the program, thereby ensuring that those creating jobs are at the center of this important program.

The National League of Cities has long supported the Workforce Investment Act and its predecessors. NLC believes that workforce development programs targeting those in need and providing them with the skills and access to in-demand jobs are necessary components of a successful workforce development strategy.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act would contribute substantially to the development of a national workforce development strategy that can train and employ disadvantaged and dislocated workers and youth.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.