Today, U.S. Sen. Franken (D-Minn.) joined 21 of his Senate colleagues to launch an initiative to refocus Washington on helping fill and create high-skill manufacturing jobs. Currently, a "skills gap"--where jobs go unfilled because businesses cannot find workers with the right skills--has left more than 3 million jobs across the country unfilled, including hundreds of thousands in the manufacturing sector. Sen. Franken has authored legislation aimed at fostering partnerships between community and technical colleges and businesses to train workers and close this gap--an issue that ranks among the priorities of the manufacturing initiative. You can download video of Sen. Franken speaking on the initiative here.
The Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative aims to build bipartisan support and momentum for a number of pieces of legislation designed to modernize America's manufacturing sector, help American manufacturers grow and create jobs, and assist American workers in getting the skills to succeed in the next generation of manufacturing jobs. The 22 lawmakers will contribute a number of bills to strengthen the workforce, open foreign markets, create conditions necessary for growth, and expand access to capital for manufacturers.
"We are here talking about creating jobs and creating prosperity in this country," said Sen. Franken. "In Minnesota, between a third and a half of the manufacturers want to hire a worker, but they don't have the skills--that's what's called the skills gap. I've introduced a bill to incentivize partnerships between businesses and community and technical colleges because I've seen examples in Minnesota where that approach is working to close the skills gap."
Sen. Franken has been traveling throughout Minnesota to meet with businesses and education leaders to hear firsthand how his legislation, the Community College to Career Fund Act, would help them. Sen. Franken authored the legislation to help close the skills gap by fostering partnerships between community and technical colleges and businesses to train students to fill high-demand jobs in Minnesota and across the country. You can read more about his legislation here.