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Mr. GUTHRIE. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I rise today in support of the SKILLS Act. This legislation is a key tool to improve employee skills, and, in turn, strengthen our Nation's workforce.
Jobs and growing our Nation's economy must be our top priority. There has never been a more critical time to make sure that our workforce has the opportunity to find new jobs or receive additional education.
The bill includes a number of positive changes to the workforce system. Creating a flexible workforce investment fund to give local workforce investment boards additional flexibility is an important step to get more workers through the system.
This bill also does away with the antiquated sequence of services which delays access to training. In addition, the bill enhances adult literacy, a cause that is particularly important to me.
Today, approximately 12 million Americans are without work; yet jobs are open in many industries, especially in manufacturing. When I travel around my district, I continue to hear that employers are actively looking for workers but have difficulty finding the skilled workforce they need.
Technology will always be advancing. We must ensure our workforce is armed with the skillset to perform the tasks that are required today and tomorrow. This bill will address this problem head-on and allow for the education these individuals need.
These high-skilled, high-wage, and high-demand jobs are the pathways to the American Dream. I've seen firsthand, at my family's manufacturing facility, how lives can be transformed through additional skills and investing in our workforce.
There are countless benefits to better educating our workforce as our economy continues to rebuild from the recession. We must do everything we can to put Americans back to work. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this effort for our Nation's workforce.
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