Congressman Doc Hastings

Serving Central Washington

Skip to Navigation

Investing in America’s Workforce and Competitiveness

f t # e
Washington, Jul 18 | comments

Millions of Americans continue to struggle to find work in today’s challenging economy. Many Central Washington workforce-training centers have successfully helped unemployed workers find jobs. However, on the federal level, much improvement can be made. Like with all federal programs, I believe Congress should routinely review them and make necessary improvements to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Job seekers currently face a maze of overlapping programs and an inefficient, bureaucratic training system, making it difficult to get the skills they need to compete for a job in today’s economy. With millions of Americans still out of work and nearly 4 million job openings unfilled, we must look for ways to modernize and reform our federal workforce development programs.

Last week, a good thing happened. House and Senate leaders from both parties came together and passed the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act,” sending it to the president’s desk for him to sign into law. This is a great example of what we can accomplish together when we listen to the American people.

This bipartisan, bicameral legislation makes much-needed updates to America’s workforce training system and helps put Americans back to work. Now more than ever, valuable education and workforce development opportunities are critical to building a stronger working class. We need a system that prepares employees for the 21st century workforce, while helping businesses find the skilled employees they need to compete and create jobs in America.

Too often, we hear of our soldiers returning from war and not being able to find work. The “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” better serves our veterans by providing support and equipping them with critical job training services in order to find good paying jobs.

As a former small business owner, I recognize the challenges many employers face in finding workers with the proper qualifications to hire. This legislation streamlines the workforce training system by consolidating 15 existing programs and saves taxpayer dollars by cutting bureaucratic government red tape. The bill also gives Washington state more flexibility to tailor our job training programs to meet the needs for occupations in-demand. Most importantly, it prepares American job seekers with the skills and tools they need to compete in a 21st century workforce.

Ensuring Washington state maintains a dynamic workforce is critical to growing our economy. The “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” is a common-sense bill that supports employers who seek skilled employees and expands opportunities for job seekers to achieve the American Dream.
f t # e