Economic Development Professionals and Organizations Support for WIA Reauthorization

Support Letter to Congress - May 2012

We are writing to convey our support for the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).  WIA has proven to be an essential force for growth in economic development and its reauthorization is vital to the continued resurgence of our economy.

The Great Recession has brought focus to the issue of workforce investment and development: with millions of Americans out of work or underemployed, now is the time for bipartisan support for the programs contained in WIA. These programs have served millions of people and hundreds of thousands of employers.  They have a proven track record of success, as evidenced by success rates as high as 90% in job placement, and 80-90% retention of those new jobs. We can all agree that these extraordinary times require an extraordinary effort to get Americans back to work and the programs of WIA are leading the charge in that effort.

As economic development professionals and organizations representing economic development efforts at the local, county, state, and regional levels, we have a boots-on-the-ground view of our current economy.  Day in and day out, our profession continues to work to bring our economy back from the depths of the recession by supporting business growth and development, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, promoting foreign and domestic investment in our communities, and championing the cause of building strong communities through the nurturing of a robust economy.  We affirm that the programs of WIA are a key component in an overall investment in workforce development and that our communities must have dynamic and well-supported workforce investment programs in order to compete globally and sustainably.

Reauthorization of WIA will be a critical component to the success of our shared economic future.  As economic developers from across the U.S., from rural to urban communities, we urge you to reauthorize WIA without delay.

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