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July 22, 2014

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Today, President Barack Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which will help millions of Americans gain the skills they need to be successful in today's workforce. The legislation will also serve as a model for innovative, performance-based policies that can drive better outcomes and save taxpayer money.

America Forward and the America Forward Coalition applaud President Obama and Congress for working together on this critical legislation. We have collaborated closely with Members of Congress, their staff, and the Administration to ensure the innovative ideas of our Coalition partners are reflected in the law and we are thrilled that this is now a reality.

Enactment of the WIOA marks an important step in improving our nation’s workforce development system to better prepare workers for today’s workforce. We are particularly pleased with the inclusion of a strong Pay for Success provision in WIOA. Referred to as “pay-for-performance” in the legislation, this provision will help catalyze public-private partnerships at the state and local levels to address tough challenges related to skills training and workforce readiness. At a practical level, the legislation allows local workforce boards to use up to 10 percent of workforce program funding from the federal government to develop and execute Pay for Success programs. Partners in these programs could include private sector financing intermediaries, nonprofit service providers, and community-based organizations such as those in the America Forward Coalition. Executed successfully, these programs can help high-impact social enterprises achieve scale and provide evidence to guide policy and funding decisions in the future.

This morning, the Administration also released its job training action plan following Vice President Joseph Biden’s review of our federal workforce programs. The plan reinforces aspects of the new WIOA and also calls for additional steps to make our nation’s job training programs more integrated, transparent, and effective.

We look forward to collaborating with the Administration, Members of Congress, state and local leaders, and private sector partners as WIOA is implemented.

You can read the top 10 most important things you should know about the WIOA here. You can also learn more about America Forward’s workforce development priorities and access our WIA Fact Sheet here.

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