Senator Joe Donnelly briefed Indiana media this afternoon on his efforts to address closing the skills gap, telling reporters that closing the gap between worker training and available jobs is essential to strengthening Indiana's economy.
"I toured eighteen Indiana communities over four days last month and I listened to Hoosier employers," said Donnelly. "They told me they are struggling to find workers who have the training they need. As our economy recovers, we must prioritize the right types of training and education programs available for Hoosiers to fill these jobs. Our workforce is talented and hard-working, so we simply need to make sure our community colleges, universities, and other training facilities are teaching to the needs of our employers."
Donnelly introduced the AMERICA Works Act to address the skills gap while serving in the House of Representatives and is now working with Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) to build bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate. The AMERICA Works Act would modify existing federal training programs so they place a priority on programs and certifications that are recognized and demanded by industry.
"Both workers and employers would see a benefit with this legislation," Donnelly explained. "Workers would know that the time they spend training is more likely to lead to employment in a well-paying job and employers would have a talented pool of employees who are ready to be productive on day one."
Studies indicate that as many as 600,000 jobs are open nationwide because employers are unable to find workers with the necessary skills.