Mullin Introduces Bills to Strengthen Workforce Education and Training

Today, Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) will introduce two pieces of legislation to improve the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Mullin’s WIOA Performance Accountability Improvement Act and WIOA Planning Extension Act aim to improve training program performance and update the submission timeline for Unified State Plans to better fit the needs of state workforce agencies and local workforce development boards.

“Supporting America’s workers means investing in education and training services that strengthen our workforce,” said Sen. Mullin, member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “WIOA is vital to accomplishing this goal. As economic uncertainty rises and businesses across Oklahoma struggle with workforce shortages, it’s crucial our workers have access to quality job training regardless of their background. These two bills specifically target current holes in the system that, once addressed, will strengthen the process, increase accountability, and improve program outcomes.”

The WIOA Performance Accountability Improvement Act would strengthen accountability standards for states and local workforce boards under WIOA, notably through updates to performance metrics for WIOA-funded training programs. These updated metrics would include labor force retention rates, measurable skill gains, and the percentage of participants who have completed on-the-job training, employer-directed skills development, or an apprenticeship upon exiting the program. This bill requires the Departments of Labor and Education to propose target performance levels for each state; after which, the state either accepts the proposed levels or issues a counterproposal. It also tightens corrective actions for states and local workforce boards who fail to achieve 90 percent of their agreed-upon performance levels. These provisions were included in H.R. 6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act, a bill that reauthorizes WIOA and passed the House on April 9th, 2024.

The WIOA Planning Extension Act would extend the state planning processes for the use of WIOA funds. Specifically, it requires that states submit their Unified State Plans which outline their workforce strategies for WIOA funding to the Department of Labor every five years, instead of every four years. It also requires that local workforce development boards submit a comprehensive plan regarding how the local board will support the state’s Unified State Plan every five years, instead of every four years.


  • WIOA is the primary federal workforce development law which funds state workforce agencies and local workforce boards that provide education and training services to individuals seeking employment opportunities (e.g. job search assistance, occupational skill training, on-the-job training, etc.).