May 17, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes for Workforce Investments to Fill Job Openings, Lower Costs

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted to reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which will help unleash the full potential of New Jersey’s workforce by ensuring workers have the skills they need to succeed.  Amid the strongest job growth in modern times, this legislation will connect New Jerseyans to new job openings, increase production, and lower costs for middle- and working-class families.

“Today, I proudly voted to invest in the workers that keep New Jersey’s economy running,” said Watson Coleman.  “Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, our country has seen historic job growth. Now, it’s time to ensure that New Jerseyans have the resources they need to take advantage of this growth. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will do just that. By fully funding our federal workforce development system, this legislation will deliver high-quality job training, get more New Jerseyans back to work, and lower kitchen table costs for working families.” 

WIOA makes up the heart of the United States’ workforce development system, but its Congressional authorization has not been renewed since lapsing in 2020.  Additionally, while the U.S. labor force has grown by roughly half over the past four decades, federal workforce development spending has fallen by two thirds. This funding gap means that essential job training services are frequently unavailable to the workers who need them most. Today’s reauthorization fully funds WIOA for six years, allowing the workforce development system to train one million American workers per year by 2028.  Additionally, it further expands pathways to opportunity by strengthening the Job Corps program, supporting summer and year-round jobs programs for young people and establishing a new employment program for formerly incarcerated Americans.

To further address shortages and rising prices, the House passed the America COMPETES Act earlier this year. This legislation will strengthen the United States’ broken supply chains, reinvigorate American manufacturing, and boost production across key industries. Congress is now working to deliver a final bipartisan, bicameral supply chain package to the President’s desk.