Sending Office: Honorable Paul Mitchell
Sent By:
Hannah.Shapiro@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Support Closing the Skills Gap through Industry Partnerships

**Language Request**

Deadline: COB March 16, 2018

Dear Colleague:

We encourage you to join us in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) in support of report language emphasizing the importance of closing the skills gap.

Work-based learning programs provide individuals with paid, on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Employers align training with the skills they need, and workers learn while they earn. The challenge now is to expand work-based learning programs,
including apprenticeships, to new businesses – especially small- and medium-sized businesses – and new sectors of the economy to help people across the country access good jobs. This will require coordinated multi-employer apprenticeship programs and strong
local partnerships that respond to local workforce needs.

Industry and sector partnerships are a proven strategy for helping workers prepare for middle-skill jobs and helping businesses find skilled workers. Congress requires states and local areas to support the development of these partnerships under the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), but no dedicated funding has been provided for these activities.

Our letter requests report language to strengthen investments in work-based learning programs that respond to local industry demand. With meaningful investments, programs across the nation will help workers gain new skills to support themselves and their
families, and ensure employers have access to the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

If you are interested in signing this letter, please contact
Maxine.Sugarman@mail.house.gov
with Rep. Bonamici or
Hannah.Shapiro@mail.house.gov
with Rep. Mitchell.

 

Sincerely,

 

Suzanne Bonamici                                                         Paul Mitchell

Member of Congress                                                     Member of Congress

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Honorable Tom Cole                                                                                               The Honorable Rosa DeLauro

Chairman                                                                                                                        Ranking Member

Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee                                                                           Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee

U.S. House of Representatives                                                                                      U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515                                                                                                 Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

Middle skill jobs—those requiring more than a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree—make up 53 percent of today’s labor market, but only 43 percent of U.S. workers are trained at this level. This creates a skills gap, leaving businesses struggling
to find workers with appropriate skills, and workers without meaningful pathways to better paying jobs. As you develop the FY19 Labor-HHS Education Appropriations bill, we ask that you include report language emphasizing the importance of closing this gap.

Apprenticeships and work-based learning programs provide individuals with paid, on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Employers align training with the skills they need, and workers learn while they earn. The challenge now is to expand work-based
learning programs to new businesses – especially small- and medium-sized businesses – and new sectors of the economy to help people across the country access good jobs. This will require coordinated multi-employer apprenticeship programs and strong local partnerships
that respond to local workforce needs.

The bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) took steps to further engage businesses in the workforce development system by including a focus on industry or sector partnerships. Industry partnerships help address the skills gap by bringing
together employers, education organizations, training, labor, and community-based organizations to develop work-based learning programs. These partnerships have proven to be successful, but WIOA does not currently include dedicated funding to support their
creation or expansion.

Workforce funding is key to making sure job training programs have the capacity to meet U.S. employer needs. As states and localities continue to implement reforms intended to respond to the needs of our local employers, we should fund WIOA at authorized
levels and add dedicated funding for industry partnerships. Doing so will improve our nation’s economic competitiveness and put in place comprehensive workforce strategies that support national priorities, such as rebuilding our infrastructure. With meaningful
investments, programs across the nation will help workers gain the skills to support themselves and their families and make sure employers will have access to the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

We request the following report language to strengthen investments in work-based learning programs that respond to local industry demand:

The Committee supports the funding and development of industry or sector partnerships as a means of closing the skills gap and expanding work-based learning programs and apprenticeships in in-demand industries.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. We look forward to working with you as we invest in the U.S. workforce to meet the needs of America’s workers and employers today and into the future.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Education, Labor, Small Business

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0