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Public Statements

Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong SKILLS Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WALBERG. I thank the chairman.

Madam Chair, our country's job training program often stands, sadly, as a barrier between workers and the employers who want to hire them. In December 2012, employers reported 3.6 million job openings all across our country despite the 12 million Americans searching for work. The challenge is that today's job hunters are getting increasingly frustrated by bureaucratic inefficiencies in their getting the specific skills they need to fill many of these jobs.

The SKILLS Act would reform the Nation's workforce development system and better equip job seekers with the abilities they need for today's economy. It just makes good sense that reducing the size, cost, and scope of Big Government expands the greatness and success of America's industry and workforce.

H.R. 803 ensures that local employers are given more of a say in these programs, helping to ensure that they are qualified and recognized for today's most in-demand jobs. It also includes reforms that allow States to determine what standards will be required for providers, which will streamline the bureaucracy that has limited many workforce development providers, such as community colleges, in their goals to succeed.

My congressional district is fortunate enough to have a number of talented, hardworking individuals and community colleges that are committed to helping reinvent Michigan and its workers through these programs. It's time to give both workers and employers more ability in providing smart, commonsense solutions and tools to strengthen our workforce and to put Americans back to work.

For, really, isn't that the reason that our government is set in place--to ensure the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to ensure that that liberty will allow people choices that only Americans really can make. Please join me in passing H.R. 803.

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