DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Tammy Duckworth
Sent By: Virginia.Hayes@mail.house.gov
Date: 10/28/2015

Endorsed by: National Skills Coalition, American Community College Trustees, Amer! ican Association of Community Colleges, United States Student Association, Precision Machined Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association, National Tooling and Machine Association, Third Way and Opportunity Nation

Current Cosponsors: James Langevin, John Conyers, Matt Cartwright, Niki Tsongas, Mike Honda, Bobby Rush, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Suzan DelBene, Ted Lieu, Brenda Lawrence, Bill Foster, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jim McDermott, Mike Quigley, Andre Carson, Donna Edwards, Brad Ashford, John Sarbanes, Bob Brady, Dan Lipinski, John Garamendi, Tim Walz, Mark Takai, Jan Schakowsky, Chris Van Hollen, Rick Larsen, David Cicilline, Lois Capps, Cheri Bustos, Luis Gutierrez 

What is the “Skills Gap” and why does it matter?

Across the country, employers from every sector are struggling to find qualified applicants to fill available jobs. The shortage of skilled workers in relation to open jobs – known as the “skills gap” – harms the competitiveness of local businesses and hinders our nation’s economic growth. However, despite widespread consensus on the need to bridge the skills gap, there has not been sustained national action to address this growing economic challenge. For example, America’s community colleges are ready to serve as a bridge between the American workforce and employers that need workers with specific training and skills. Yet to date, direct Federal investments have largely neglected these local educational institutions in favor of traditional four-year universities.

The Community College to Career Fund Act addresses this problem:

Congresswoman Duckworth’s legislation establishes a fund that will build upon existing public-private partnerships to invest in, strengthen and promote relationships between community colleges and local employers that develop job-training programs and curriculums. Programs will have to compete for funds that support efforts to train millions of Americans for middle-skill jobs in high-demand industries, such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, clean energy and information technology. These partnerships are modeled on proven programs that have already achieved real world results.

The Community College to Career Fund Act:

  • Creates a 3-year competitive grant program administered by the Department of Labor;
  • Grants fund public-private partnership between employers or industry groups and two-year educational programs at community colleges, tribal non-profit colleges and technical four-year educational institutions, to implement job training-related programs, such as registered apprenticeships, on-the-job training opportunities and paid internships for low-income students; and
  • Promotes partnerships that provide direct hiring opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment, Veterans and their families.