Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to speak in favor of the SKILLS Act.
Today, there are 20 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. I want to take a moment and speak about the individual looking for their next job and explain how the SKILLS Act will actually help them.
First of all, the SKILLS Act streamlines the complicated maze of existing federal programs. Rather than spending time figuring out which one of 30 different programs you are supposed to go to, this bill creates a one-stop and creates a one-stop Workforce Investment Fund.
Second, if you need job training, the SKILLS Act eliminates bureaucratic hurdles – such as first requiring you to work on your resume and develop an individual employment plan – so that you can access the training that you need right away.
Third, by emphasizing the role of local employers on your local workforce training board, the SKILLS Act helps ensure that the training you receive are related to the jobs actually available in your area.
Finally, the SKILLS Act makes sure that you receive quality training by making it easier for community colleges and technical schools to actually participate in these workforce training programs.
What does all this mean? Better, more accessible job training to help more people who are unemployed find jobs faster.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour an automotive workshop at the Northern Virginia Community College and saw firsthand the need to train skilled workers.
I want to thank Chairman John Kline who went with me, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and Congresswoman Susan Brooks for their leadership on this important issue.
The SKILLS Act has been endorsed by numerous employers, community college systems and a number of Governors, because they recognize that a broken workforce training system hurts those in need of assistance.
We have a chance to fix this broken system with this bill, and I urge my colleagues to support the SKILLS Act.