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Bill changes career center practices

House SPeaker John Boehner and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.
House SPeaker John Boehner and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

SIgning up at a local career center in the national Workforce Development System, this week, became an opportunity open to more workers and youth. President Obama counts on the systemwide changes made by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to give more Americans a way in to a good career job, even a job of the future.

Advanced skills learned in center education and training programs have to prove useful in the jobs market. Innovative service work done at San Diego career centers on Univeristy Avenue and Imperial Avenue has to prepare job seekers for jobs in in-demand industries.

On Wedesday, July 9th, after the House of Representatives approved the Senate amended bill, Obama said, "Today’s vote helps ensure that our workers can earn the skills employers are looking for right now and that American businesses have the talent pool it takes to compete and win in our global economy."

The career centers run by the San DIego Workforce Partnership give job seekers a convenient location across the county. There are centers in Chula Vista, on Bay Boulevard, in El Cajon, on E. Main Street, and, on North Midway Avenue in Escondido.

Business representatives, largely business executives and employers, will take a two thirds majority of the seats on the local workforce investment boards that keep the career centers meeting career employment goals. Experts in employment and training in an industry market join the representatives who tell the center staff the places in industry market jobs are open.

Only one fifth the board members will represent the workforce in a workforce investment area. Labor organizations and community-based organizations still have an opportunity to add theri knowledge of local labor markets to the board member discussion on offers on career training and job placement services the centers can make.

Opportunities for young adults to walk in a career center door and join the Job Corps will broaden. Up to one fifth a Job Corps group can be 22 to 24 years old, older than the usual 17 to 21 years old. Low income local residents, and job seekers lacking in basic skills, can join the Job Corps even at an older age. A military servicemember veteran losing their service income can qualify. Productive work opportunities will open up at the centers. Older disabled Americans also have an opportunity to join.

The systemwide changes made to the Workforce Development System set up in the 1990s by President BIll CLinton's WOrkforce Investment Act were designed to welcome more AMericans to go in to a local career center and get training, or, find a career job. Local San Diego Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas stood on the president's side in support of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act the Senate amended in JUne, and, joined local Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa in voting for the bipartisan bill in the House Wednesday.

This is an On The Watch Take.