Bonamici, Guthrie Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize National Workforce Development Month
WASHINGTON, DC [09/28/18] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), both members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate September 2018 as National Workforce Development Month.
The resolution promotes workforce development by recognizing the need for investments to support workers and help employers succeed in a global economy. Middle skill jobs—those requiring more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree—make up 53 percent of today’s labor market, but only 43 percent of workers in the United States are trained at that level. Workforce development programs can help businesses struggling to find workers with appropriate skills, and help workers access meaningful pathways to better paying jobs.
“Too many workers in Northwest Oregon and across the country are still struggling to make ends meet,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Workforce development programs help more people—particularly those with barriers to employment—access the education, training, credentials, and support services they need to secure better paying jobs. These programs also support our local employers so they can hire the highly skilled workers they need. I am proud to work with Rep. Brett Guthrie to recognize the importance of investing in workforce development and am committed to fighting for policies that support workers and employers in Congress.”
“I was proud to work with Congresswoman Bonamici to introduce this resolution in support of National Workforce Development Month,” said Congressman Brett Guthrie. “As our economy grows, and as innovation sparks opportunities that we couldn’t have even dreamed of fifty years ago, our jobs and industries are changing. We want to help employees gain the skills they need for the jobs that are available. This resolution reiterates the need to invest in our workforce and help both employees and employers succeed.”
“America’s competitive position in the global economy depends upon the skills of its workforce,” said Katie Spiker, Senior Federal Policy Analyst at the National Skills Coalition. “Today’s bipartisan resolution makes an important commitment to invest federal funding in critical workforce development programs that meet business demand and worker need. National Skills Coalition applauds Representatives Bonamici and Guthrie for their leadership in recognizing the importance of programs that prepare workers for good, middle-skill jobs.”
Earlier this year, Congress reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides federal support to programs that prepare students for in-demand careers and success in higher education. Approximately 11 million high school and college students benefited from these programs from 2016 to 2017. The state and local implementation of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides unprecedented opportunities to support individuals with barriers to employment through workforce education and training, including proven strategies such as sector partnerships, career pathways, integrated education and training, work-based learning models, and paid internships. Across the country, more than 550 workforce development boards and 2,500 American Job Centers help individuals succeed in the labor market. The bipartisan resolution calls for increasing investment of federal funds to continue to address the employment and skills needs of workers and employers. You can read a copy of the resolution here.
The resolution has been endorsed by: National Skills Coalition, National Association of Regional Councils, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, National Association of Counties, Goodwill Industries International, Inc., United States Workforce Association, Jobs for the Future, Corps Network, American Association of Community Colleges, National Association of Workforce Agencies, Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, United Way, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation, Advance CTE, National Immigration Forum, AnitaB.org, National Youth Employment Coalition, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and National Association of Development Organization.
Bonamici and Guthrie are strong advocates for workforce development in Congress. One of Bonamici’s first bills, the WISE Investment Act, aimed to foster collaboration among local businesses and workforce training programs. Bonamici supported the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) when it passed Congress in 2014, and she has led efforts to increase funding for WIOA and apprenticeship programs. Last year, she introduced the bipartisan PARTNERS Act to help small and medium sized businesses establish apprenticeships and work-based learning programs.