Key Vote Letter to the House on the Job Training Improvement Act
March 2, 2005
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. 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. 27, the Job Training Improvement Act of 2005 and opposes any amendments that would weaken this important legislation.
The implementation of a more modern and efficient national job training system is a top priority for the business community. Technology, demographics, and diversity have brought far-reaching changes to the U.S. economy. Across America, employers of all sizes share the view that a well-educated and highly-skilled workforce is essential to maintaining competitiveness. A business' quality, productivity, and profitability depends upon its ability to hire, train, and retain qualified workers, who can perform on the job today and adapt to the new demands of tomorrow. The consolidation of programs under H.R. 27 gives states the ability to better align training with workforce demands, increasing the efficiency of the system and vastly improving the value of the training experience.
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. H.R. 27 includes a number of provisions that specifically address these principles, such as: 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. 27 by the House of Representatives. Because of the importance of this legislation to workforce investment system, the U.S. Chamber will consider using votes on or in relation to H.R. 27 in our annual How They Voted ratings for 2005.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce