Today, U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) and U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) introduced the bipartisan American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement (AMERICA) Works Act to help build a skilled American workforce.
The America Works Act encourages national industries to come together and agree on standards that define the skill sets they need in their workforce. Once the skill sets have been identified, curriculums will be developed to provide students and workers with nationally-portable, industry-recognized credentials, ensuring that they have the skill sets that are in demand.
"Lack of skilled workers is an issue I hear repeatedly as I travel the district meeting with businesses and manufacturers," said Schneider. "It's hampering business growth and hurting our overall economic and innovative potential. This bill brings together our manufacturers and educators to train workers with the skills employers are looking for, energizing our economy and filling quality jobs that are available today."
"Right now, there are thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. left unfilled because manufacturers can't find workers who have the necessary skills," said National Association of Manufacturers VP of Human Resources Policy Joe Trauger. "Manufacturing is a sleek, technology-driven industry. Policy solutions that prioritize a nationally portable training and skills certification system are critical to building the workforce manufacturers need to compete and succeed."
In early January, Congressman Schneider conducted a tour of local businesses in Illinois's Tenth Congressional District to learn about the challenges and opportunities they face. One of the top concerns expressed was the lack of a qualified workforce that possesses the skills necessary to perform the jobs that manufacturers need to fill. This is the first bill that Schneider is introducing during his first term as the Representative for Illinois's Tenth District.