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Testimony | Spurring Innovation in Workforce Development: Program Governance and Service Delivery

American Enterprise Institute

September 21, 2023

Chairman Owens, Ranking Member Wilson, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you
for the opportunity to present testimony on improvements Congress can make to the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Early in my career, I supported Governor Mike Leavitt
in negotiating and implementing the legislation that created the Utah Department of Workforce
Services, which still stands today as the most integrated public workforce system in the country.
From 2001-2007, I served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training
during the George W. Bush administration where one of my responsibilities was developing
policies and improvements to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the predecessor to WIOA. I
then had the opportunity to go back to Utah and serve as Vice President for Institutional
Advancement at Salt Lake Community College, and since 2012, I have been a full time
consultant working with community colleges, workforce systems, and others throughout the
United States.
My background and experience grounds my views on how WIOA can and should be
improved to better serve employers, workers, and job seekers. I witness continually, using a
ground-level view, the challenges faced by communities and families seeking to improve
economic conditions, the bureaucratic hurdles faced by workforce development and education
staff trying to address the reskilling or upskilling of workers, and the unnecessary complexities
of the myriad of federal workforce and education programs.
My testimony today provides an outline of specific principles and opportunities to improve
WIOA to meet our shared goals of upward mobility, labor force attachment and high wages, and
business growth through a skilled and productive workforce. With an understanding and
commitment to a shared vision for WIOA improvements, I believe Congress can make
significant strides that will better opportunities for our communities and its residents.

Read the full testimony here.