THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Wednesday, May 6, 1998
TRAINING FOR THE 21st CENTURY ECONOMY
More than three years ago, I proposed my G.I. Bill for America's Workers to reform our employment and training system for the 21st century economy. I am very pleased that the Senate passed -- with overwhelming bipartisan support -- legislation that incorporates the principles articulated in my original proposal.
- President Bill Clinton
May 6, 1998
Yesterday, the Senate passed -- 91 to 7 -- the Workforce Investment Partnership Act of 1998, legislation that incorporates the principles of President Clinton's G.I. Bill for America's Workers. This legislation will fundamentally reform our workforce deployment system so that it works better for America's workers and is more responsive to the emerging new economy.
Expanding Opportunity In The New Economy. Two keys to expanding opportunity in the new economy are education and job training. President Clinton is working to reform the job training and adult and vocational education systems through a G.I. Bill for workers. The bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate includes the principles of the President's plan. It will:
- Empower individuals, providing Americans seeking training with Skills Grants, report cards to inform consumers' choices, and universal access to core services like job-search assistance;
- Streamline services, consolidating the tangle of current training programs by creating a nationwide system of One-Stop Career Centers (centers that consolidate multiple training and employment programs at the "street level");
- Meet educational needs and ensure quality, targeting vocational and adult education funds to educational agencies and institutions with the greatest need, and to activities that promote program quality;
- Enhance accountability, requiring training providers to be certified. Performance measures will include rates of job retention, earnings, and job placement;
- Increase flexibility, allowing states and local areas to implement innovative job-training programs;
- Involve communities, ensuring that business, labor and community organizations are full partners in system design and quality assurance;
- Improve the vocational rehabilitation program, streamlining eligibility determination, improving State planning, and strengthening program accountability;
- Include the Youth Opportunity Areas initiative, to create jobs and opportunity for out-of-school youth in high poverty areas.