07/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2021 09:19
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congressman Steven Horsford sent a letter with 101 Members of the House of Representatives to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer requesting that at least $100 billion in new spending for workforce development be included in the upcoming reconciliation package.
Given the ongoing economic transformation and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the American workforce requires the tools and skill-building opportunities that workforce development programs provide. More than 30% of Americans are considering a career change, and more than 9 million Americans are currently unable to find a job. Meanwhile, federal spending on workforce training and employment services is at its lowest level in more than fifty years.
Their letter requests that any legislative package that focuses on American jobs and families include robust funding for workforce development programs, including programs for adult workforce training and dislocated workers, career and technical education, and youth career pipeline programs. In addition, their letter requests that employers engage in these programs through policies such as co-creating training curricula.
'The pandemic has drastically altered our economic landscape and sent workers into a spiral of uncertainty that can only be mended through re-skilling and re-training,' said Congressman Krishnamoorthi. 'Including workforce development funding in the reconciliation bill is the logical way to strengthen our workforce from the bottom-up and rebuild our economy after the pandemic. In addition, we are about to create numerous jobs with the passage of infrastructure legislation; it would be a grave misstep to create so many good-paying jobs without helping Americans to fill those jobs.'
'Before coming to Congress, I spent a decade leading Nevada's largest job training center, where thousands of workers trained for good-paying union jobs. I know that investing in workforce development pays dividends for workers and the broader community,' said Congressman Horsford. 'As our nation rebuilds from the pandemic, we have an unparalleled opportunity to retrain and realign the American workforce for good jobs in the new economy. I'm excited to work with Rep. Krishnamoorthi to lead 101 members of Congress in calling on Congressional leadership to include at least $100 billion in new spending for workforce development in the upcoming reconciliation package.'
'It is essential that we ensure that those most impacted by the pandemic, including people of color, immigrants, and women are supported as they re-enter the workforce after being displaced due to the pandemic. Our coalition has been clear - investing in workforce development is crucial to an inclusive economic recovery. It is encouraging to see so many members of Congress agree and prioritize investing in workers who need it most,' Katie Spiker, Managing Director of Government Affairs, National Skills Coalition said.
'As we emerge from the pandemic and strive to build a more inclusive economy, workers need more pathways to good-paying jobs and careers. President Biden's economic proposals included essential resources to help them do that through dramatic expansions of apprenticeships and the broader workforce development system. We applaud Reps. Krishnamoorthi and Horsford for their leadership on this issue as they and their colleagues fight to include those resources in upcoming legislation,' Gabe Horwitz, Senior Vice President, Economic Program at Third Way said.
Read the letter here.