Improving Skills Through America’s Workforce Development System

A skills gap persists across the country, largely for what are considered "middle skilled" jobs, or jobs requiring more than a high school education but less than a bachelor's degree. In 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was reauthorized as the main federal legislation to promote workforce training. This report by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), explores what is behind the skills gap, how WIOA is structured to address this and what challenges continue to exist.

The report makes seven recommendations to improve the workforce development system at the federal level through WIOA implementation:

  1. Clarify Services Offered by the Workforce Development System
  2. Enhance Coordination Between Higher Education Financial Aid Officers and WIOA Caseworkers
  3. Reduce or Modify Reporting Requirements on Outcomes if the Tools are Not Provided to Deliver the Reports
  4. Consider New Ways to Prioritize Training at American Job Centers
  5. Help WIOA Participants Use Other Available Federal and State Funding
  6. Encourage Private Businesses to Offer Training to Nonemployees, Especially in High-Demand Occupations
  7. Expand Reciprocity Agreements Between States 
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September 2018