Posted July 14, 2014 | An historic bipartisan, bicameral bill that amends and reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) through fiscal year 2020, has been passed by both the Senate and House and is headed to President Obama for signature (on Tuesday, July 22, as reported by the Advocacy Monitor blog). H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which first passed in the Senate on June 25, 2014, cleared the House July 9. Now, with the President’s signature, WIOA becomes the law of the land.
The bill makes key improvements to the nation’s workforce development system, helps workers attain the foundation skills necessary for 21st century jobs, and fosters a modern workforce to help make American companies be competitive. The bill emphasizes the creation of career pathway programs, improved integration and coordination of education and training services, development of sector-based strategies, and streamlined service delivery to individuals, especially for underprepared youth and adults. It includes also the Rehabilitation Act; specifically, improvements to independent living in this bill include:
- Establishment of the Independent Living Administration in the Administration for
Community Living (ACL) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human
- Transition added as a fifth core service;
- Improvement of State Independent Living Center (SILC) activities and the inclusion of
- Inclusion in State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) sign-off of Center for Independent Living (CIL) directors; and,
- Selection by states of their designated state entity (formerly known as the Designated
State Unit, or DSU). The DSUs will remain the same for the 723 states of Massachusetts and Minnesota.