Groups Endorse Bennet Bill to Improve Job Training Programs

Several key organizations are announcing support for a bill U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Rob Portman have introduced to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market.

The Careers Through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act would help ensure that job training programs are geared toward results by coordinating with state and local workforce agencies, and directing resources toward programs that train workers with the skills most demanded by regional industries.

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Ellen Golombek and Colorado Workforce Development Council Director Stephanie Steffens, said, “The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), as representatives of Colorado's Workforce System, support Senator Bennet's CAREER Act.  This proposed legislation targets system accountability and has bipartisan support. It creates opportunities for the workforce system to be more agile and provides avenues for more flexibility and increased outcomes for the workforce training system. We believe this legislation provides the stepping stones that will lead to reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and will empower our state and local partners to put more Coloradans back to work.”

The National Skills Coalition (NSC), a national coalition of business leaders, labor affiliates, community-based organizations, education and training providers, and public workforce officials, also supports the CAREER Act. “There are more than 12.5 million unemployed U.S. workers, but we hear every day from employers who are struggling to fill open positions because they can’t find workers with the right skills,” said Rachel Gragg, NSC Federal Policy Director. “Effective, industry-linked investments in education and training programs are critical to help address the skills gap and keep our economy moving in the right direction. The CAREER Act offers a reasonable, bipartisan proposal to begin to reform and strengthen our nation’s workforce development system. We look forward to continuing to work with Senators Bennet and Portman to ensure that workers can get the skills they need to become employed or re-employed, and that employers can find the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”

Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, a nonprofit focused on providing urban young adults with skills and experience to help them in their careers and higher education said, “The CAREER Act will make a lasting impact in the movement toward a stronger and more efficient workforce system.  At Year Up, we work every day with employers who are challenged to find people with the skills needed to meet their needs. We also know from our daily work with our students that there are millions of smart, talented, and motivated young people who are desperate for an opportunity to prove themselves in the workplace. The CAREER Act is good for our taxpayers, our companies, and our young people.”

Corporate Voices for Working Families (CVWF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan national business membership organization influential in public and corporate policy issues involving working families, has endorsed this bipartisan bill. “Given the success our partner companies have had with career pathway programs, we know it is possible for workforce training programs to produce strong outcomes that meet employer needs,” said John Wilcox, Executive Director of CVWF. “The Pay for Performance Pilot Program is important because it will encourage more publicly funded workforce training programs to have a laser focus on achieving desired and measurable outcomes.”