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Budd, Peters, & Hickenlooper Introduce Bill to Provide Flexibility to Local Workforce Development Boards

Washington, D.C. — Today, Senators Ted Budd (R-NC) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) introduced the Lifelong Learning Act. The bipartisan bill gives local workforce development boards (LWDBs) more flexibility to train existing workers to avoid layoffs. It also allows LWDBs to allocate more resources for individuals who seek to reconnect with the workforce.

The Lifelong Learning Act will:

  • Improve flexibility for Incumbent Worker Training: Allow LWDBs to use up to 30% of their funds to help train existing workers with new skills, which will help avert or mitigate layoffs.
  • Improve flexibility for Transitional Jobs: Allows LWDBs to use up to 30% of their funds to deploy programs that reconnect individuals to the labor force.
  • Measure Incumbent Worker outcomes against other workforce programs to effectively compare results.
  • Allow LWDBs to serve as the one-stop operators in local workforce areas, contingent on the approval of the Governor and chief elected officer.

The bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Sen. Budd said in a statement:

“As technology continues to transform our industries, it’s incredibly important that we help workers get the skills they need to compete and succeed in today’s economy. We need to give Workforce Development Boards flexibility to address the needs they see in their communities. By doing this, we can help job creators and workers make necessary transitions and stay competitive. I am thankful to Senator Peters for partnering with me in this effort.”

Sen. Peters said:

“Local Workforce Development Board members live and work in the communities they serve, and they have the expertise needed to implement the right strategies for strengthening their regional job market. This legislation gives them the flexibility to respond to the changing employment needs in their communities, helping to connect more individuals to in-demand jobs that are necessary to grow our economy and remain competitive globally.”

Vice President of Education & Labor Advocacy at the U.S. Chamber, Allison Dembeck, said:

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce proudly lends its support to the bipartisan Lifelong Learning Act, introduced by Senators Budd and Peters. This important legislation not only increases funding available for local workforce boards to invest in incumbent worker and transitional job training, but also underscores the importance of equipping individuals with essential workforce training and skills development. By enabling employers to cultivate a skilled workforce, this bill paves the way for mutual prosperity, fostering economic growth, and enhancing competitiveness. It represents a pivotal stride towards ensuring both workers and employers thrive in today’s dynamic labor market.”


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