I’m Just a Bill, Here on Capitol Hill…

After strong bipartisan support from Congress, President Obama passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to reauthorize the Federal Workforce Development laws. It has been over a decade since they have been revisited, and the American workforce has long needed the federal workforce development system to be updated. The bill helps employees become accustomed to the modern era with the skills they need – be it technological or otherwise – to perform better and get better jobs. It will also aid those with disabilities to remain competitive in today’s workforce.

Chairman of the House of Education and the Workforce Committee, Representative John Kline said, “Today is a good day for the American people. We’ve shown what’s possible when we work together toward a common goal and right now there is no greater goal than putting Americans back to work.” With a House approval of 415 to 6 and a Senate approval of 95 to 3, the overwhelming support of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act bodes well for the currently broken workforce development system.

“Too often job training programs are focused on providing the skills need for yesterday’s jobs, not the jobs of today and tomorrow.” – Obama Administration Official

What can you learn from this new bill?

While, yes, the federal training programs will undergo drastic changes in the near future – as the bill was signed by the President on July 22, 2014 – that doesn’t mean your company has to sit by and watch. The federal government isn’t the only entity that needs to revamp their training program. It may not be to the same extent, but many organizations are stuck in the pre-technology era of training with classroom settings.

Preparedness to enter and remain in the workforce is reliant upon the quality and technological responsiveness of the office training programs to the changes in workforce personality and tech development. It is estimated that by 2022, 11 million workers will be ill equipped to succeed in a professional office. The level of higher education will begin to matter less as within that 11 million, 6.8 million workers will have bachelor’s degrees and 4.3 million will have vocational degrees, some college credits, or associate’s degrees.

You can change the cycle by developing new training programs beyond the paper and classroom settings. Your training program has a direct impact on your retention. Companies that have inadequate training programs can expect to see 41% of their employees planning to leave within the first year. On the other hand, employees who partake in excellent training programs are much less likely to leave the company within the first year, at only 12%. Employees who don’t feel adequately trained in their positions won’t have much motivation and certainly won’t be engaged at work. It’s hard to be motivated to do something you just don’t know how to do well. 

The question remains, then: How do you make your training program better? A training program is only as good as the success and engagement of the trainees. A technology-friendly and advanced system will engage the newly hired Millennials, and help the Baby Boomers use their resources more wisely. The perfect training program caters to different learning types, as well as the growing learning gap between workforce generations. With Millennials comprising an estimated 46% of the workforce by 2020, you cannot afford to adjust your training program through the changes in technology.

Technology developments in the workplace are always changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. However, there is no reason to let your training program fall through the cracks; you can keep track of legal requirements and corporate expectations with the right tools.

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photo credit: Bill on Capitol Hill via photopin cc

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Tags: Employee Training, HR Tech, Human Resources, Training Programs, Workforce Innovation,

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