Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) joined Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at a roundtable discussion at Anne Arundel Community College on the importance of strengthening skills as a workforce development and an economic development imperative. Congressman Hoyer and Secretaries Perez and Pritzker were joined by Maryland employers, workforce professionals, and education leaders to discuss programs from across the state and explore how these partnerships can be replicated in other communities. Congressman Hoyer discussed the Make It In America plan he has put forward in Congress to expand domestic manufacturing and create well-paying jobs by focusing on four key priorities, including training and securing a twenty-first century workforce.
"I'm pleased that Secretary Perez and Secretary Pritzker visited Anne Arundel County today to discuss the Obama Administration's commitment to workforce development," stated Congressman Hoyer. "The fact that we were here today at Anne Arundel Community College is a reminder that the foundation for a good job is a good education. That's why a centerpiece of my Make It In America jobs plan is to train and secure a twenty-first century workforce by investing in education and skills-training programs."
"We need to make sure our high school graduates can follow pathways to college or careers, and partnerships between employers and education institutions are essential to match workers with jobs," continued Congressman Hoyer. "I thank Secretaries Perez and Pritzker for bringing us together to discuss how we can strengthen these partnerships, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that our students succeed and businesses continue to expand and create well-paying jobs."
"Today's conversation was a great reminder of Maryland's innovative work on skills development and the federal government's role in taking these best practices to scale to strengthen the middle class in communities around the country," said Secretary Perez. "This administration has made unprecedented investments in community colleges -- including right here at AACC -- because they are critical to a demand-driven approach to workforce development that helps businesses and workers alike."
"Since I was sworn in as Secretary of Commerce in June, I've traveled to a dozen states on a listening tour to hear from business leaders, government officials, academics and others. One issue that came up again and again is the challenge of making sure that all Americans have the skills they need to compete," said Secretary Pritzker. "A skilled workforce directly impacts our ability to keep our businesses strong and our economy growing. In order to ensure we're addressing the needs of both our workers and employers, we need businesses to help in the development and planning for training programs that will equip our workforce with the skills they need to be successful. I look forward to working with Labor Secretary Perez, Congressman Hoyer and successful institutions like Anne Arundel Community College to encourage the type of partnerships that will strengthen our workforce, our economy, and America's competitiveness."
The Make It In America plan includes several bills that would help workers gain the skills needed by employers, such as:
- Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act that encourages strategic partnerships between employers and training programs.
- Job Skills for America's Students Act of 2013 that would provide employers who partner with educational institutions to provide skills training with a $2,000 tax credit per student.
- The Job Opportunities Between Our Shores (JOBS) Act that would launch a pilot program to partner workforce investment boards and local manufacturers with nearby community and technical colleges like Anne Arundel Community College.