STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: Workforce Investment Act
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)

For Immediate Release                                           August 11,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

        Two years ago this week, I signed the bipartisan Workforce
   Investment Act (WIA), launching an historic initiative that Vice
   President Gore and I first proposed in 1992 as a way to streamline and
   bring greater accountability to our nation's job training system. Today,
   with these reforms underway in all 50 states, we reach another key
   milestone by adopting the final rule implementing the major provisions
   of this landmark Act.  I congratulate our federal partners, Congress,
   the states, local communities, businesses, and American workers, on how
   far we have come.

        Largely as a result of WIA?s reforms, states now have established
   1,200 One-Stop Career Centers to provide job seekers and employers in
   each community with a single, customer-focused point of entry to a wide
   range of employment services.  Developed with extensive input from the
   many people with a stake in our job training system, the final rule
   provides additional direction to state and local partners while
   preserving their planning and operating flexibility. The rule also gives
   state and local partners guidance on creating  Individual Training
   Accounts that allow workers to choose the training that meets their

        Unfortunately, currently proposed Congressional funding for
   workforce development programs, including the Administration's Fathers
   Work/Families Win initiative, falls far short of the amount needed both
   by American businesses to meet the growing demand for skilled workers
   and by working families to gain access to lifelong learning.  WIA
   provides broad access to employment opportunities, often for people with
   disabilities or others who have been excluded, and it should be properly
   funded.  I call on Congress to fully fund the bipartisan program it
   passed two years ago so that all Americans can participate in today's
   era of economic opportunity.  With WIA up and running across the
   country, now is the time to invest in the system we built together.


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