Magazine article Techniques

Workforce Legislation: Now or Next Century

Magazine article Techniques

Workforce Legislation: Now or Next Century

Article excerpt

The proposed Workforce Investment Partnership Act (S. 1186) was expected to reach the Senate floor in late March, amid predictions that if Congress fails to act soon, new workforce and vocational education legislation might be delayed until the next millennium.

"It is the only shot we're going to get," Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) told the National Association of Private Industry Councils' annual forum in Washington, D.C. If the Senate is unable to pass the bill in the next few months, DeWine predicted that "no one will have the courage or the inclination to delve back into this for a number of years."

But DeWine, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Training, says he looks forward to a billsigning session at the White House this year. For that to occur, the Senate must pass its bill, which combines vocational education with job training and adult education programs, then reconcile it in conference with H.R. 1853, the bill the House passed last year, which treats vocational education as a separate entity.

As of mid-March two coalitions-a coalition of education groups led by the American Vocational Association and a coalition of state and local officials led by the National Governors' Association-continued to hold different views of the bill but were pushing for Senate passage so their concerns can be resolved in conference. …

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