Letter to the House of Representatives: Support the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act of 2003
May 6, 2003
To Members of the United States House of Representatives:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, strongly supports passage of H.R. 1261, the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act of 2003 and opposes any amendments that would weaken this important legislation.
Workforce investment is a top priority for the business community. The U.S. Chamber understands that even in a low-growth economy, employers continue to experience difficulty in finding workers with the right skills. As economic growth accelerates, the need for skilled workers will only increase. The Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act of 2003 provides increased flexibility and strives to create programs that are responsive to businesses' needs now and in the future.
The Education, Employment, and Training Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce developed a set of principles it believes would encourage business to make greater use of the workforce investment system. This bill includes a number of provisions that specifically address these principles: allowing the state board to hire staff; incorporating planning for services to individuals with disabilities into overall state activities; focusing on regional labor markets; establishing procedures and criteria by which to certify one-stop services, quality and consistency; separating infrastructure costs from training and program support; adding flexibility in the sequencing of training and services; encouraging collaboration among programs, resources and work support activities to assist low-wage workers; and increasing the ability to train incumbent workers.
For these reasons, the U.S. Chamber urges swift passage of H.R. 1261 by the House of Representatives. Because of the importance of this legislation to our workforce investment system, the U.S. Chamber will consider using votes on or in relation to H.R. 1261 in our annual How They Voted ratings for 2003.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce