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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 6, 1998
                    A G.I. BILL FOR AMERICA'S WORKERS:

                               March 6, 1998


|                                                                      |
|                                                                      |
|     "Again, I ask the Congress to continue its bipartisan work to    |
|      consolidate the tangle of training programs we have today       |
|      into one single G.I. Bill for Workers, a simple skills grant    |
|      so people can, on their own, move quickly to new jobs, to       |
|      higher incomes and brighter futures."                           |
|                                             President Clinton        |
|                                             January 27, 1998         |
|                                                                      |


With A Vote Scheduled For The Week of March 16th, The President Calls on the Senate to Pass Job-Training Reform. In September 1997, the Senate Labor Committee unanimously approved the bill, S. 1186: Workforce Investment Partnership Act. This bill builds on the President's 1995 proposal for a G.I. Bill for America's workers to reform the web of job training and adult and vocational education programs and help prepare the American workforce for the 21st Century. Senator Lott has indicated that this bill will come to the floor the week of March 16th. Today, the President calls on the Senate to pass this important legislation organized around his four basic principles:

Empowering Individuals. Through Skills Grants, report cards to inform consumers' choices, and universal access to core services like job-search assistance, job training reform will empower individuals, providing adults seeking training or retraining control over their own careers. This customer-driven system replaces the decades-old tradition of making job training decisions for adults through bureaucratic systems. This individual empowerment will make the job training system more responsive to the skill needs of the market.

Streamlining Services. Through the consolidation of myriad individual training programs into a single system and through the nationwide implementation of One-Stop Career Centers (centers that consolidate multiple training and employment programs at the "street level"), this reform effort will streamline the job training system. Over the past few years, the Administration has entered into partnerships with over 40 states to build a One-Stop system, and today, there are over 500 in operation. This reform would expand One-Stops nationwide.

Enhancing Accountability. Through tough performance standards -- for both governors and localities -- and by requiring training providers to be certified by, for example, the Higher Education Act (HEA), this reform enhances accountability. Performance measures will include rates of job retention, earnings, and job placement.

Increasing Flexibility. Job training reform would provide additional flexibility. For example, the Secretary of Labor will have permanent authority to waive burdensome Federal job training rules in exchange for performance improvements. This will allow states and local areas to implement innovative job-training programs.

A Bill Incorporating These Principles Has Already Passed The House. In May 1997, the House -- with overwhelming bipartisan support -- passed a job training reform bill (H.R. 1385: The Employment, Training, and Literacy Enhancement Act) which incorporates these principles: it allows for individual empowerment through career grants; it establishes a "full-service" employment and training delivery system; it establishes indicators of performance to hold states and localities accountable; and it includes additional flexibility through waiver authority.