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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. HORSFORD. Thank you to the ranking member for his leadership and the committee members, as well, for working so hard to try to find a balanced approach and a bipartisan approach to a very important bill, which is job training and developing America's workforce.

The latest employment report for Nevada came out this morning, and while we added 6,600 seasonally adjusted jobs, and are on the right path, we cannot shortchange our workers at this critical time. I've heard from my local elected officials who serve on workforce boards, and they don't support the approach of H.R. 803, and that's why I strongly oppose the bill as well.

Before coming to Congress, I ran a joint labor management training academy in Las Vegas that helped train thousands of Nevadans--youth, adults and dislocated workers--to find careers in the hospitality industry each and every year, so I know the value of quality training for prospective workers.

I'm opposing the so-called SKILLS Act because it's a partisan bill that's dressed up as a workforce investment act legislation. It would block-grant 35 work programs, pitting youth, older workers, and workers with disabilities against each other for funding, and it would freeze job-training investment for 7 years, even though funding for workforce programs has already been cut in half since 2001, this at a time when there's a growing demand for training and placement of workers.

The Democratic alternative to this bill builds partnerships with the private sector, with labor, with community colleges. It evaluates the efficiency of workforce programs, and it expands the use of on-the-job training and incumbent worker training.

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Mr. HORSFORD. I will work with anyone from any party who has a good idea for how we can get the American people back to work. Unfortunately, H.R. 803 is not that bill.

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