Minnick Jobs-Training Bill Meets No Opposition During House Debate
A major jobs-training bill, the bi-partisan AMERICA Works Act authored by Congressman Walt Minnick, was debated on the House floor today without opposition. A vote is expected later this week.
The bill makes sure workers receive education that is in demand from American industries. The education includes certifications that are readily accepted by employers nationwide, allowing workers to find jobs anywhere in the country.
"American workers are the best in the world," Minnick told his colleagues (full statement pasted below). "They are resilient, innovative and hardworking. But they must be properly trained and have widely accepted and understood credentials making them employable anywhere."
The legislation creates an essential link between workers seeking jobs and skills sought by employers.
"This bill will ensure that federal job training assistance is used to provide hard working Americans desiring training with the certificates, degrees and credentials American industry needs to fill the sophisticated technical jobs available in today's business world," Minnick continued.
This bill, HR 4072, is titled the American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration (AMERICA) Works Act. Cosponsors include Reps. Mike Simpson of Idaho, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Debbie Halvorson of Illinois, Bobby Bright of Alabama, Allen Boyd of Florida, John Barrow of Georgia, Kathleen Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, Baron Hill of Indiana, Christopher Lee of New York and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina.
Minnick crafted the bill with input from a coalition of leaders in manufacturing, business, labor and education. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has identified the bill as a top priority.
"... this bill stands out for embracing an important approach toward training that offers opportunities both to manufacturers and manufacturing employees," reads a NAM press release that exhorts the House and Senate to pass the bill.
Key Points on the AMERICA Works Act:
* The Act directs use of public funds for designated programs in the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act and Workforce Investment Act to develop necessary skills.
* It amends the Perkins Act by assuring programs of study that receive federal funds result in nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials within the career and technical education section of the bill.
* It amends the Training Activities and Youth Activities sections of WIA to give priority to training programs resulting in nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials.
* It brings local manufacturers in closer contact with local training programs and builds the credibility of publicly funded training programs with employers all over the country.