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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 31, 1998
                      STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
          On Senate Passage Of Job Training Reform Legislation

For years now, I have been fighting for a G.I. Bill for America's Workers to modernize job training for the economy of the next century. I appreciate the bipartisan effort in the Senate that led to passage of legislation to do just that last night. This bill will make sure that job training in America helps our people meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy. I hope the House will continue this bipartisan effort to give Americans new training opportunities designed for the cutting-edge jobs of the future.

This legislation will fundamentally reform job training by empowering individuals to learn new skills with a simple skill grant. It also consolidates the tangle of training programs; creates a network of One-Stop Career Centers; increases accountability to ensure results; allows States and communities to tailor programs to locally determined needs; and ensures that business, labor, and community organizations are full partners in system design and quality assurance. It targets vocational and adult education funds to educational agencies and institutions with the greatest need, and to activities that promote program quality. It improves the vocational rehabilitation program by streamlining eligibility determination, improving State planning, and strengthening program accountability. And it includes the Youth Opportunity Areas initiative - which was funded in last year's appropriations process - that will create jobs and opportunity for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas.