After showcasing the need at the State of the Union for Americans to be adequately trained for their careers, President Barack Obama on Jan. 30 signed a memorandum directing job-training reform in the federal government.
But Republicans have turned sour on the program, condemning it as another cog in the bureaucratic wheel.
The memorandum empowers Vice President Joe Biden to reform federal employment and training programs within 180 days, making them more job driven.
The plan will also identify concrete steps to make the programs more focused on giving employees relevant skills with market value. It will make training more accessible to employers and job seekers and make training more accountable for producing positive employment.
“I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now,” Obama said in the State of the Union address.
Republicans have labeled the memorandum as just another program among more than 50 already-existing federal employment and training programs, according to a release by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
The existing programs include youth opportunity job grants, native Hawaiian career and technical education and the Job Corps.
Republicans have called Biden’s mandate simply a review of the workforce development system.
“More than 10 million Americans are searching for a job today, including nearly 4 million who’ve been out of work for six months or longer,” the committee said in a press release. “They need job training reform, not another review that identifies problems we already know exist.”
During the State of the Union, Obama several times expressed his intentions to use his executive power to circumvent Congress.