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Job Creating SKILLS Act Passes House

Location: Washington, DC

As part of on-going efforts to get Nevadans back to work and improve national workforce development and job training programs, Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today supported House passage of H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. The SKILLS Act would help connect the 130,000 out-of-work Nevadans with the tools and skills to fill the more than 3 million jobs currently available by streamlining job training programs, expanding the role of employers on workforce investment boards, and eliminating bureaucracy that hampers job training efforts.

The SKILLS Act also contains a key provision first proposed by Congressman Heck during the 112th Congress and introduced as the Local JOBS Act. This provision strengthens the role of employers in workforce development decisions by requiring that two-thirds of workforce board members be employers and focuses training on in-demand occupations. This provision would be especially key for the state of Nevada where thousands of unemployed workers seek the skills to find jobs in today's in-demand fields. The SKILLS Act facilitates greater collaboration between community colleges and workforce development organizations. This provision will benefit southern Nevada's students who have chosen to pursue education in preparation for a career in a specific field or industry.

"We need to connect the unemployed and underemployed with skills and training that will prepare them for the jobs that do and will exist, not the jobs that did exist. The best way to do this is to have local employers from in-demand industries on workforce boards. They understand employment conditions in their area and in their field and would prove to be an invaluable resource for our workforce development programs," Rep. Heck said.

Rep. Heck spoke on the House floor during debate on the SKILLS Act and called on his colleagues to support the measure which would take commonsense steps to helping connect the unemployed with job opportunities.

The state of Nevada fell from the national lead in unemployment rate Friday, reporting a rate of 9.7% with 132,000 Nevadans still unemployed. The SKILLS Act would help Nevada continue that momentum. In an effort to connect out-of-work constituents with job opportunities, Congressman Heck will host a job fair and interview skills workshop on April 1 at Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Henderson. More than 30 employers will be attendance and attendees will be able to receive resume and interviewing advice.

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