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Workforce Investment News Archive

National Economic Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy Publish RFI to Gain Input for Update of "Strategy for American Innovation"; Identify Workforce Development, Entrepreneurship, and Regional Innovation Ecosystems as Interests
Jul 29, 2014
The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council have invited public comments to provide input into an upcoming update of the "Strategy for American Innovation." This strategy helps to guide the Administration's efforts to promote lasting economic growth and competitiveness through policies that support transformative American innovation in products, processes, and services and spur new fundamental discoveries that in the long run lead to growing economic prosperity and rising living standards.

These efforts include policies to promote critical components of the American innovation ecosystem, including scientific research and development (R&D), technical workforce, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, advanced manufacturing, and others.

The strategy also provides an important framework to channel these Federal investments in innovation capacity towards innovative activity for specific national priorities. The public input provided through today's notice will inform the deliberations of the National Economic Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which are together responsible for publishing an updated Strategy for American Innovation.

Responses must be received by September 23. Click here for the full notice.

The RFI questions below are grouped into the following categories:

  • Overarching Questions
  • Innovation Trends
  • Science, Technology, and R&D Priorities
  • Skilled Workforce Development
  • Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship
  • Regional Innovation Ecosystems
  • Intellectual Property/Antitrust
  • Novel Government Tools for Promoting Innovation
  • National Priorities
What Works In Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence
Jul 28, 2014
On January 30, 2014, President Barack Obama directed Vice President Joseph Biden to lead a government-wide review of federal programs in the workforce and training system to ensure they are designed to equip the nation's workers with skills matching the needs of employers looking to hire. The review culminated in an action plan to make the system more job-driven, integrated, and effective.

To inform the development of the action plan, agencies were asked to summarize the evidence on adult and youth job training strategies and programs to "...determine what information is lacking and identify future research and evaluation that can be undertaken to ensure the Federal programs invest in effective practices." This document, prepared by the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, Education and Health and Human Services, with input from several other Federal agencies and staff, presents the results of that evidence summary.

Read the Report

Also see:

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Resource Page

Employment and Training Administration Research Publication Database

White House Rural Council Announces $10 Billion Private Investment Fund to Finance Job-Creating Infrastructure Projects in Rural America
Jul 25, 2014
The White House Rural Council has announced the creation of the new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund through which private entities can invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. An initial $10 billion has been committed to the fund with greater investment expected to follow. Target investments will include hospitals, schools and other educational facilities, rural water and wastewater systems, energy projects, broadband expansion, local and regional food systems, and other rural infrastructure.

CoBank a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund's anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Capitol Peak Asset Management will manage the new fund and work to recruit more investors to add to CoBank's initial commitment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies will help to identify rural projects that could be potential beneficiaries of financing through this new fund and other private sources.

The creation of the new fund was announced during the first-ever White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together business and financial community leaders, Administration and other government officials, rural development experts, and others to promote investment opportunities in America's rural communities.

The Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund will allow America's rural economy to continue its forward momentum by enhancing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements. The fund is immediately open for business and more investors can now add to the initial $10 billion in available capital.

The fund will allow a wide variety of new participants, including pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors that have not traditionally had access to these markets to invest in rural development. In some cases, projects may be funded entirely through private sector dollars. In others, private dollars may be leveraged with and extend critical government loan and grant programs.

News Release

Also see:

Fact Sheet: Increasing Investment in Rural America

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Availability of Initial Informational Resources from Departments of Labor and Education (Fact Sheet, Implementation Timeline, FAQs, Resource Webpage, Mailbox)
Jul 23, 2014
The Employment and Training Administration has published Training and Employment Notice -5-14. This TEN communicates the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), announces its current implementation plans, shares key statutorily-required implementation dates, and provides initial informational resources regarding the provisions in the new law.

The TEN conveys three attachments:

WIOA Fact Sheet
Key Statutorily Required Implementation Dates
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

The TEN notes that ETA has established a WIOA Resource Page (www.doleta.gov/WIOAM) to serve as the on-line repository for the Department's WIOA implementation materials. The fact sheet, key statutorily required implementation timelines, questions and answers, and other relevant guidance and technical assistance materials are available on this site.

Questions regarding WIOA implementation can be submitted to a newly-established in-box (DOL.WIOA@dol.gov). As responses are developed, they will be posted on the WIOA Resource Page.

The TEN also notes:

The Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education has established a WIOA Resource Page for information related to the adult education and literacy programs under title II of WIOA. This page is located at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/wioa-reauthorization.html. Questions may be submitted to OCTAE staff at AskAEFLA@ed.gov.

The Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration has also established a WIOA Resource Page for information related to the vocational rehabilitation program. This page is located at: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/rsa/wioa-reauthorization.html

Current Population Survey: BLS Seeks to Add Questions on Certifications and Licensure; Seeks Comments by September 15
Jul 18, 2014
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced it is seeking Office of Management and Budget approval for revisions to the Current Population Survey. BLS notes, in part:

The CPS questionnaire has been revised to add three questions on certification/licensure and remove three questions on educational attainment to avoid increasing the cost of the CPS and to limit the increase in respondent burden. These proposed changes would be permanent changes to the survey.

Certification/licensure is a topic that aligns closely with the CPS goal of collecting information about factors that impact labor market success, and it is a topic of interest to researchers and policy makers. The three additional questions will identify whether respondents have a currently active professional certification or license; whether any of those credentials were issued by the Federal, State, or local government; and whether the credential is required for an individual's main job.

The July 17 FEDERAL REGISTER provides the BLS preamble statement on the CPS, addresses the education attainment item that are proposed for excision, summarizes the burden hour estimates, and describes the desired focus for public comment.