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Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I thank my friend from Massachusetts, and I rise in support of this important bill. I want to point to one good aspect of it.

I am pleased that the bill recognizes libraries as an integral part of helping the unemployed and underemployed get good jobs. Libraries, often at their own expense, are already helping many reach work with literacy skills, resume writing, computer skills, and librarians are offering a wealth of experience in assisting individuals to take advantage of all of the things that libraries offer.

Specifically, this bill includes a number of provisions from my bill, the Workforce Investments through Local Libraries Act, known as the WILL Act. The bill before us today will allow libraries to receive funds to continue their great work.

The Workforce Investment Act became law in 1998 and has not been updated over all these years. For 16 years, the Workforce Investment Act has been an important, nonpartisan help to workers and employers. However, over those years, employers' needs have changed and the skills needed to obtain good jobs have changed. This bill modernizes the programs that keep America competitive.

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