MAWD publishes principles on workforce system legislation

Workforce development is crucial to Missouri’s ability to compete in a global market place and to ensure the economic security of families and local communities. Workforce development legislation and policy can be a confusing maze for job-seekers, employers, and even for professionals who work within the system in programs authorized by a variety of federal legislation such as: Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, Higher Education Act, and the Second Chance Act.

To help clarify the opportunities and guide constituents on effective workforce system legislation, MAWD’s Board of Directors adopted a set of guiding principles at its March 2012 meeting.

1. Workforce Development Services should serve all job seekers and employers by:

  • Ensuring a continued commitment to provide services to all youth, dislocated workers, former offenders, and all under- and unemployed individuals, regardless of race, disability, gender or economic barriers.
  • Supporting mechanisms to increase job retention and enable families to earn a sustaining wage without government assistance.

2. Every worker should have access to high quality training that is necessary to improve their ability to obtain and maintain meaningful employment in the 21st Century by:

  • Removing limitations to training options for individuals.
  • Enhancing the collaboration between adult education and training and workforce development programs.

3. National and state funding for workforce development programs should be strengthened and stabilized to ensure all customers receive the optimal benefits by:

  • Ensuring there is adequate federal support for workforce development that keeps pace with inflation, takes into account unemployment rates, and avoids duplication of services.
  • Providing specific funding for professional development for those who are employed within the workforce development system.

4. Collaboration should be encouraged across all workforce development programs by:

  • Streamlining eligibility requirements and performance measures across workforce development programs.
  • Funding efforts to identify and disseminate best practices across the workforce development system.

5. Innovation should be encouraged within the workforce development system by:

  • Appropriating funds to implement strategies that address the unique life circumstances of people experiencing multiple barriers to employment, such as, homelessness, low literacy, and disability.
  • Supporting activities that provide the workforce development system greater flexibility in order to better serve job-seekers and business across the State of Missouri.

Read more about MAWD’s advocacy efforts online.