Rep. Foster Joins Bipartisan Effort to Train Workers for 21st Century Jobs
Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman Bill Foster announced he will co-sponsor the bipartisan American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement Works (AMERICA Works) Act. The bill, introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (IL-10) and Lou Barletta (PA-11), will ensure that our nation’s workers are prepared to fill quality jobs.
“As a businessman and manufacturer, I know firsthand how important it is to have skilled workers. We’ll only be able to create high-wage, high-skill jobs in America if our workers have the necessary training,” Congressman Foster said. “Maintaining a skilled workforce is critical to continuing our economic recovery and re-establishing our nation as a center for high-tech manufacturing.”
The America Works Act would create industry approved training standards in certain sectors that would be recognized nationwide. Workers who completed federally-funded training programs or otherwise passed a certain skills threshold would receive a standardized credential. Businesses anywhere in the country could be confident that workers with these credentials could perform needed roles. These new programs would be free replacements for the current system, where non-standard jobs training programs create skills gaps in the workforce that produce an uncertain hiring process for employers.
The bill comes as recent Congressional reports have shown that despite high unemployment levels, US manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 jobs, with an additional 301,200 openings in information technology as of June 2012.
The America Works Act has been introduced in the 111th and 112th Congress, and the current version is supported by the Tooling & Manufacturing Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.