Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53)
Washington, D.C. – The House passed an amendment authored by Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) to allow funding for supportive services like child care, transportation, and health care for federal job training program participants.
The Jacobs Amendment passed by voice vote as part of an en bloc amendment during floor consideration of The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2022 (H.R. 7309), legislation reauthorizing WIOA. WIOA is designed to strengthen and modernize the nation’s public workforce system by helping job seekers access employment, education, training, and supportive services and to match employers with the workers they need. WIOA includes funding for job training for adults, dislocated workers, and young people. Under the existing version of the statute, the process for receiving support services is cumbersome and can only be granted under limited circumstances.
The overall legislation passed the House in a 220-196 vote.
The Jacobs Amendment allows up to 5% of local Title I Adult and Dislocated Worker funds to be used for supportive services. Past research has shown that “trainees who received supportive services were more likely to complete training than those who did not” and that “the most common reason given for not completing a training program was pregnancy or illness.” A study of community college completion rates found similar results.
“Job training and workforce development programs won’t work if people can’t participate in them. My amendment makes a significant improvement to federal training programs by allowing local funding to also support participants’ child care, health care, transportation, and other needs. Life happens, and removing barriers to training and education programs is essential to building an economy that works for everyone,” said Congresswoman Jacobs.
“On behalf of America Forward, I want to thank Congresswoman Jacobs for her amendment to strengthen access to supportive services. Decades of research has demonstrated that enhancing participants’ access to resources such as food, housing, and child care can improve outcomes to help them fully participate in and complete longer workforce training programs, resulting in potentially larger and more durable gains. As a coalition of more than 100 organizations nationwide, we know that workforce policies that support workers and communities by providing critical resources to improve workforce outcomes is a critical step in the right direction,” said Deborah Smolover, Executive Director of America Forward.