Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will vote on the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act, or SKILLS Act. With 12 million Americans out of work and 3.6 million job openings unfilled, the SKILLS Act will modernize and reform our Federal workforce development programs and reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act.
As a former volunteer member of a Workforce Investment Board who had the responsibility for administering these training opportunities, I witnessed firsthand the difficulty and expense these duplicative and overlapping programs create. The SKILLS Act consolidates current programs efficiently so that individuals seeking training will be able to navigate the system with greater success and greater access. The SKILLS Act also refocuses the accountability and control at the local level rather than Washington.
Mr. Speaker, America's competitiveness depends on having a qualified and trained workforce. The SKILLS Act offers just that. President Obama called on Congress in 2012 to work with him to develop a skills training program that is more efficient and effective. The SKILLS Act does just that. Let's take action to put Americans back to work and make America more competitive.