This afternoon the U.S. Senate passes H.R. 803 Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on a bipartisan vote of 95-3. This legislation will reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and is a huge legislative victory for libraries as it includes the following provisions for libraries:
Title I — Workforce Development Activities
- Allows public libraries to be considered additional One-Stop partners. Meaning that Libraries will now have access to federal funding for job training and job search programs.
- Functions of the State and Local Workforce Development Board. State and Local Workforce Boards must include plans to improve digital literacy skills at One-Stop delivery systems.
- Prohibits federal supervision or control over selection of library resources.
- Allowable Statewide Employment and Training Activities. Authorizes adult education and literacy activities provided by public libraries as an allowable statewide employment and training activity.
Title II — Adult Education and Literacy
- Definition of Workforce Preparation Activities. Includes a definition of “workforce preparation activities” that specifically includes digital literacy skills.
The U.S. House of Representative is expected to take up this legislation shortly after the July 4 holiday.
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