Congress Passes Legislation Recognizing Libraries in Workforce Development

IMLS logoCongress recently took a giant leap forward to improve the delivery of job training and workforce development by passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA).  Overwhelmingly approved by both the House and the Senate and supported by the President, the legislation is the result of a bipartisan agreement that recognizes the vital role our government plays in providing the services and resources job seekers need to access the kinds of skills training, career information, and education that are required for today’s job market.

For public libraries, the new bill identifies them as eligible for funds as One-Stop partners with the ability to provide an expansive array of job search services. Also, it recognizes libraries as important providers of federally supported training and employment services for adult education and literacy. The legislation instructs State and Local Workforce Development Boards to boost “digital literacy skills” at training centers—the very definition of “digital literacy” originates from the law that created IMLS and is referenced in WIOA!

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