Letters of Opposition or Concern to the Republican SKILLS Act (H.R. 803)

Mar 7, 2013 Issues: Labor, Jobs and Job Training

The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 – a reauthorization bill introduced by Reps. John Tierney (D-MA), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and George Miller (D-CA) – will improve the nation’s workforce investment infrastructure, focusing on finding workers jobs and careers through strategic partnerships with in-demand sector employers, community colleges, labor organizations, and non-profits. 

The Republican bill intended to rewrite WIA - H.R. 803: The SKILLS Act - however, is highly partisan and will have a grave impact on the workforce investment system. The bill puts at risk services for disadvantaged populations, including youth, older workers, farm workers, workers with disabilities, women, English language learners, and low-income workers. It jeopardizes the voices of many key stakeholders on workforce investment boards, including labor unions, community colleges, and other community-based organizations. It fails to seize this reauthorization opportunity to reform the system based on what we have learned over the last decade or more about what works and what does not work, and to encourage innovation around the country. It eliminates programs for the sake of eliminating programs, without any independent evaluation of whether they are in fact duplicative of one another.

In light of these and other concerns, the bill has scant support and garnered significant opposition. Read letters from groups expressing their contention with H.R. 803 below:

  • Wider Opportunities for Women
  • The Workfore Stakeholders Group:
    • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO & APALA Education Fund
    • Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
    • Coalition of Labor Union Women
    • Corporate Voices for Working Families
    • Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
    • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
    • Easter Seals
    • Goodwill Industries International
    • Insight Center for Community Economic Development
    • International Economic Development Council
    • Jobs for the Future
    • Legal Momentum
    • National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
    • National College Transition Network at World Education
    • National Council of La Raza
    • National Council for Workforce Education
    • National Disability Rights Network
    • National League of Cities
    • National Skills Coalition
    • National Transitional Jobs Network
    • National Youth Employment Coalition
    • National Workforce Association
    • PHI – Quality Care through Quality Jobs
    • Proliteracy
    • Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
    • Senior Service America
    • The Corps Network
    • United Way Worldwide
    • Wider Opportunities for Women
    • Workforce Learning Strategies
    • Young Invincibles
    • YouthBuild USA