Yesterday, the Employment Security Department announced news of Governor Inslee’s appreciation for the support President Obama is providing for the task of cultivating employment and training programs. It was a huge local win for our state on July 22 as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) was signed by President Obama as this plan is backed by Washington State Democratic Senator Patty Murray. The plan seeks to expand our nation’s workforce development systems by helping current programs become more simplified, giving more power to local boards, adding synchronization , and cultivating outreach to youths that are normally cut off.
Senator Patty Murray discusses the importance of this act on her website, adding information about issues being faced such as more than half of working adults not having the literacy skills needed for education and work success, the highest rate of unemployment occurring within those with disabilities, and the number of workers with required education falling below the expected number in the next decade. Senator Murray’s website also includes what WIOA builds and improves upon with regard to advancing in the nation’s effectiveness in employment.
Within our state, there is a WorkSource structure in place that includes partnerships between nonprofit, local, and state groups. Together, these organizations provide a large assortment of services aimed at employment and training for those looking for jobs as well as companies providing them. Workforce Development Councils, which include local heads from labor and business, direct the work.
In the past 12 months, WorkSource has been attributed to positively affecting more than 100,000 workers by helping them to find jobs. In addition, they have helped more than 5,000 companies in our state find qualified employees. As work begins within the spectrum of WIOA, it would make sense that these numbers will only grow, thus not only improving employment and training program in general, but helping the overall economic outlook for Washington State and the rest of the nation.