Now that Democrats will control the U.S. House of Representatives, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) is confident that the Marianas will be included in the Wagner-Peyser jobs grant.
Sablan and Rep. Robert Scott (D-Virginia), the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, have already agreed in an exchange of letters in October to make this fix part of their agenda for the 116th Congress.
“Republicans blocked the inclusion of the Marianas in Wagner-Peyser in 2014, when the law was last re-authorized,” Sablan said. “Now that Democrats will control the agenda, the Marianas will be included. I have the chairman’s agreement.”
The Wagner-Peyser program is part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and WIOA is up for re-authorization in 2019.
“Please know that you have my commitment to work with you to make the Marianas an eligible entity for Wagner-Peyser Act assistance when Congress takes up the reauthorization of WIOA,” Scott wrote Sablan on Oct. 22.
Scott also pledged “to explore other opportunities to increase and strengthen the U.S. workforce in the Marianas.
“I look forward to working with you on this issue and to build on the many education and labor issues that we have worked on over the last 10 years,” he said.
As a 10-year veteran, Sablan is in line to be a chairman in the Education Committee and could very well have direct control of WIOA legislation himself.
The annual Wagner-Peyser grant, estimated at about $300,000, would provide skill assessment, career guidance, referrals to training for job seekers. Employers would benefit from services matching job requirements to job seeker experience and skills. (PR)