2014-02-18 National Governors Association

Workforce Investment Act

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chair
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard Shelby
Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Hal Rogers
Chair
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Mikulski, Senator Shelby, Chairman Rogers and Representative Lowey:

The nation’s governors thank you for your leadership and bipartisan efforts to partially restore the 15 percent Workforce Investment Act (WIA) set-aside in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. Congress has taken an important first step to uphold existing law and provide governors more resources to accelerate job creation and economic growth in states. Though governors welcome and appreciate these efforts, we continue to call on Congress to restore the WIA set-aside to the full 15 percent in FY 2015 appropriations and through bipartisan reauthorization of WIA.

The 15 percent WIA set-aside has traditionally allowed governors to partner with local governments and businesses to create solutions that serve the unique economic dynamics of both states and communities. In the last four years, flexible federal funds for job creation and training in the states have decreased by more than 70 percent. Governors strongly support a full 15 percent WIA set-aside and applaud Congress’ growing recognition of the value that the set-aside holds for job seekers and businesses.

Governors also urge Congress to move forward with bipartisan reauthorization of WIA with continuation of current law to allow governors to reserve 15 percent of funds. Preserving the full set-aside in current law is a top priority of governors. In addition, any reauthorization must preserve current flexibility for governors to continue operating grandfathered state workforce boards and create a state workforce board with a simple majority of business members and the authority to appoint a state board chair in order to align the board’s efforts with the state’s comprehensive economic agenda. Governors also encourage inclusion of performance accountability metrics that incorporate the governors’ performance measures proposal developed in coordination with state workforce agency administrators.

Governors look forward to working with you to fully restore the 15 percent set-aside in FY 2015 appropriations and to preserve the full set-aside through bipartisan reauthorization of WIA. Full restoration of the set-aside this Congress is vital to enhancing the nation’s workforce system, getting people back to work and better meeting the challenges of this modern economy.

Sincerely,

Governor Steven L. Beshear
Chair
Education and Workforce Committee

Governor Brian Sandoval
Vice Chair
Education and Workforce Committee

Cc:
Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Senator Jerry Moran, Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Representative Jack Kingston, Chairman, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Representative Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education

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