Washington—The Senate passed a bipartisan resolution to encourage investment in education and training for American workers by designating September 2018 as “National Workforce Development Month.” The resolution, introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), supports federal initiatives to promote workforce development and recognizes the crucial role that they play in growing the economy.
“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to educate and train American workers,” said Senator Feinstein. “Our resolution recognizes that and encourages investments in higher and vocational education, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. These invaluable workforce development programs ensure that our workers are not only ready for today’s jobs, but that they’re also prepared to adapt to the changing needs of an increasingly competitive global economy.”
“Workforce development is the fuel of our economy, driving innovation and the emergence of new technologies,” said Senator Hatch. “To maintain America’s competitive edge, we must ensure that our federal training programs are teaching workers the skills they need to succeed in the global marketplace. That’s why I am honored to co-lead a bipartisan Senate Resolution that seeks to align federal workforce training programs with industry needs.”
“We must ensure America’s workers have the skills they need to succeed and help grow our economy,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud the Senate passed our resolution to recognize National Workforce Development Month. I also look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to advance my PARTNERS Act which would provide resources to expand industry and sector partnerships to help small and medium sized businesses develop work-based learning programs, and train the workers they need to remain competitive and grow their businesses.”
“If we want Americans to thrive under a healthy and dynamic economy, it is important that our workers are trained and educated with the skills needed to compete for the best jobs and to create the best business,” said Senator Enzi. “That’s why I applaud the Senate for passing our resolution to declare September National Workforce Development Month. Whether it is through job corps or career and technical education programs or programs supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, we are looking to help ensure American workers are properly prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
Access to effective workforce education and training programs are critical to supporting workers and expanding access to living wage jobs. Federal programs and funding provide the foundation for these programs. Earlier this year, Congress reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which supports high-quality career and technical education programs. Approximately 11 million high school and college students benefited from these programs from 2016 to 2017.
Programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 served more than 7 million young people and adults in 2016. Nationwide, there are more than 550 workforce development boards and 2,500 American Job Centers that work with job seekers and employers across industries ranging from healthcare and information technology to manufacturing and construction.
Full text of the resolution can be read here.
The resolution is supported by the following organizations:
- National Skills Coalition
- National Youth Employment Coalition
- National Association of Workforce Development Professionals
- Center for Law and Social Policy
- United States Workforce Association
- Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
- Young Invincibles
- National Association of Counties
- National Association of Development Organizations
- American Association of Community Colleges
- Coalition on Adult Basic Education
- The Corps Network
- Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
- National Association of State Workforce Agencies
- Association for Career and Technical Education
- Association of Community College Trustees
- National Education Association
- National Governors Association
- The School Superintendents Association
- Association of Educational Service Agencies
- Future Business Leaders of America
- American Federation of Teachers
- National Association of Regional Councils
- National Immigration Froum
- Jobs for the Future
- Local Initiatives Support Corporations
- National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
- Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation
- United Way