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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03)

Washington, D.C. – Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor U.S. Rep Susie Lee (Nev.-03) joined Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Va.-03), along with House and Senate Democrats, to introduce legislation to invest $15 billion in America’s workforce training infrastructure as well as career and technical education. The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act authorizes funding to help workers sharpen their skills and quickly re-enter the workforce as the economy emerges from the deepest decline since the Great Depression.

The legislation increases support for layoff aversion strategies that allow employers to receive partial funding to keep workers on the payroll while employees improve their job skills through training.  The bill also restarts Community College and Industry Partnership Grants, a program advocated for by Rep. Lee. These grants support partnerships between community colleges and industry, which were implemented during the Great Recession and were geared toward getting workers skills for in-demand jobs.   

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 22 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last month, and millions more are likely to be laid off through July. The unprecedented spike in unemployment is likely to significantly increase demand for workforce development services, including training, career navigation, and other services that support dislocated workers or employers looking to keep workers employed.   

“I know that Nevada will respond to this crisis as we always do and come out the other side stronger than ever,” said Rep. Lee. “But to do that, we need to invest heavily in workforce development to give workers and businesses the tools they need to succeed in an economy ravaged by an unprecedented public health crisis. More Nevadans have filed for unemployment assistance in the last two months than during all of 2019, which means in the coming months hundreds of thousands of Nevadans will be looking to reenter the workforce.  

“To prepare, we need to invest now in training, career navigation, and other services to support both workers and businesses looking to keep workers employed,” Rep. Lee continued. “That includes a program that I’m deeply supportive of also known as the TAACCCT Grant program that will be restarted under this legislation, which supports community college and industry partnerships in creating education and training programs in in-demand industries and sectors. The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act is the comprehensive investment that our workers and small businesses need to recharge and strengthen our economy.” 

“With millions of newly unemployed people looking for work, our nation’s workforce development system – which was already strained by chronic underinvestment – is facing an unprecedented test. This proposal will give hard-hit states and localities the resources they need to immediately serve employers and workers during this pandemic,” said Chairman Scott. “Providing additional resources to the nation’s workforce system now is a critical step in relaunching America’s workers and businesses as the nation begins to recover from the COVID-19 national emergency. The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act is a desperately needed investment in workers, employers, and our economy.” 

BACKGROUND: The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

  • Provides over $10 billion to the state and local public workforce system, by supporting dislocated workers, employers, youth and adults seeking jobs. These funds will support workforce training activities, including career navigation services and access to online skills training and employment services, while prioritizing short-term training to health care and essential frontline workers; 
  • Restarts the Community College and Industry Partnership Grants (TAACCCT 2.0) program by providing $2 billion to restart the TAACCCT grants awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor. These grants were awarded during the last recession to support community college and industry partnerships in creating education and training programs for stackable, portable credentials in in-demand industries and sectors; 
  • Invests $1 billion in expanding the capacity of adult education providers across the U.S. to prioritize serving adults with low-literacy levels negatively impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 national emergency; 
  • Invests $1 billion in career and technical education to prepare students for careers in high-skill, high-wage or in-demand industry sectors and occupations; and 
  • Invests $2 billion to restart the community college career training grant program initiated during the last recession to help employers find talent in their local area, and provide individuals pathways to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand employment opportunities.   

The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act is endorsed by the National Association of Workforce Boards, Jobs for the Future, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Advance CTE, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. 

For a section-by-section of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, click here.

For the bill text of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, click here.