Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) applauded the passage of the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The act eliminates roadblocks preventing workers from receiving the in-demand training they need and includes an amendment authored by the Congresswoman giving states flexibility to fund high-performing job training programs.
"Millions of Americans are looking for jobs every day and yet 3.6 million positions remain unfilled in this economy," Brooks said. "In a nation that spends $18 billion a year on job training, that's not good enough. The SKILLS Act will give workers the valuable training they need to compete for the jobs they want. The SKILLS Act will put Americans back to work."
Yesterday, the Congresswoman toured the automotive program at Northern Virginia Community College of Alexandria with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC). The trip highlighted successful efforts within the community college system to provide greater access to training in high-wage, high-demand industries.
Immediately following the tour, Congresswoman Brooks spoke at a media availability in favor of the SKILLS Act. Video of the press event is available here.
The Congresswoman also made a speech on the House Floor in support of the SKILLS Act during debate on the bill.
"We have a chance to empower millions of individuals to lead more fulfilling lives by finding meaningful work and we must take that chance now," Brooks explained. "This is the time to choose people over paperwork and workers over waste."
Video of the Congresswoman's remarks on the House floor can be found here.
About the SKILLS Act
The SKILLS Act seeks to reform and modernize federal workforce training efforts by streamlining more than 35 federal workforce development programs and creating a single Workforce Investment Fund. By seeking efficiencies and eliminating red tape, it will ensure workers receive the critical job training they need as quickly as possible. It also ensures support is targeted and relevant to the individuals receiving it.
The amendment offered by Congresswoman Brooks allows states to reserve a portion of their statewide employment and training funds to implement pay-for-performance strategies for eligible training providers meeting and exceeding the performance measures outlined in the SKILLS Act. This new level of flexibility will allow states to recognize priority providers delivering greater success rates and more return on investment.
About the Congresswoman
Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks serves on the Education and the Workforce, Homeland Security and Ethics Committees. She is a former Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Prior to serving in Congress, she was the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College where she led statewide workforce development and job training efforts.