Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, introduced the Employer-Directed Skills Act (H.R. 6255) to empower America’s job creators to provide skills development opportunities that equip workers for in-demand jobs.

“Millions of Americans remain out of the workforce, even while employers across the country are struggling to hire workers,” Stefanik said. “I am proud to introduce the Employer-Directed Skills Act to provide an innovative solution to empower both workers and job creators. Through this legislation, our nation can equip more workers for in-demand jobs and provide job creators with the skilled workforce they need. As we are emerging from a pandemic that devastated our businesses and economy, it is time to get America back to work.”

"In Biden’s economy, far too many unemployed Americans are currently left behind because they are unable to access the workforce education they need. I am pleased to support Rep. Stefanik’s Employer-Directed Skills Act which will help reinvigorate our economy by streamlining the process for workers to access the vital skills they need while also empowering job creators," Foxx said.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law in 2014 to provide career services and upskilling opportunities for adults and displaced workers, too few out-of-work Americans currently receive the workforce education needed to enhance their skills and make them attractive to employers looking to hire. Only 125,000 adult and dislocated workers exit a WIOA training program each year, and only one third are employed in a related occupation two quarters after completion.

The Employer-Directed Skills Act will empower job creators to determine the skills their workforce needs, streamline the process for workers to access skills development, and leverage private sector investments to make employers a stakeholder in the reskilling process.

Specifically, this legislation would:

  • Allow employers to identify prospective workers to participate in a skills development program selected by the employer,
  • Expand eligible programs to include work-based learning provided by the employer or an outside program from a third-party provider, and
  • Provide partial reimbursements for the costs of upskilling programs through an Employer-Directed Skills Account.

Read the full bill text here.