|| July 17, 2014
|| Bob Potter, Kitsap County Human Services
Workforce development in Kitsap gets a boost from Congress
(Port Orchard, WA) - An
overhauled public workforce development program will be signed into law by
President Obama after overwhelming passage by both the House of
Representatives and Senate, routing funding to Kitsap County to provide job
training and employment support services.
“I’ve seen firsthand that federal workforce programs can change lives, boost
our economy and get people back to work,” said Senator Patty Murray, “but we
can’t expect to adequately train Americans for jobs at Boeing or Microsoft
with programs designed in the 1990s.”
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will replace the current
program under the Workforce Investment Act, improving employment services,
workforce development, adult education and vocational rehabilitation. The
Olympic Consortium, serving Kitsap, Clallam and Jefferson counties, is one
of 12 areas in Washington state to receive funding.
"This is wonderful news for our community. As training needs evolve over
time, so do the programs which help to prepare our workforce. Because it
worked in years past doesn't mean it is the best approach for now or into
the future,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder.
Over 750 local residents enroll in the existing program each year to take
advantage of paid training and supportive services along with job counseling
and career assessments.
“We are thrilled the WIOA bill passed and appreciate the leadership and hard
work of Senators Murray and Cantwell it took to make this happen,” said
Julie Tappero, chair of the Olympic Workforce Development Council. “It is
absolutely critical we train our workforce, not only for the jobs in today's
economy, but for the job's of tomorrow as well. These programs play a very
important role in that."
WIOA eliminates 15 duplicative employment programs and has broad support
from labor, business and political leaders around the country. The
bipartisan bill amends and reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of
1998, and also reauthorizes and reforms the Adult Education and Family
Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, and the Rehabilitation Act of
For more information on the Olympic Consortium and the Olympic Workforce
Development Council, visit