By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R) from Haleyville released a written follow statement on Friday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act.
Representative Aderholt said, “As our nation continues to struggle with high unemployment and record levels of debt, streamlining ineffective programs and promoting better use of taxpayer dollars is critically important. The problem is, despite a multi-billion dollar annual taxpayer investment in federal job training programs, employers continue to struggle to find workers with skills necessary to fill in-demand jobs. Rather than helping employers and workers, our current cumbersome workforce training system is making it more difficult for workers to access important jobs skills and assistance, and fails employers who seek a highly trained workforce. The SKILLS Act is the solution. I am proud to support this legislation and hope to see its swift passage in the Senate.”
H.R. 803 passed with a vote of 215-202. Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference said, “Each year taxpayers invest billions in the nation’s workforce development system, and yet, employers continue to struggle to find workers with the skills they need. Today, the House took the lead on tackling this nation’s unemployment problem by passing a bill to reform the maze of confusing job-training programs, and create a better system for workers to find the help they need. “
Rep. Jenkins said, “With 20 million Americans unemployed or under-employed, and 3.6 million job openings still unfilled, this nation’s complex and inefficient job-training system is failing both job seekers and employers. The SKILLS Act is exactly what the president said he wanted to do at his State of the Union address, and we cannot afford to wait any longer to close the skills gap. This bill will do exactly that. The SKILLS Act streamlines and eliminates 35 ineffective and duplicative programs. It would create a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to support workers, employers, and job seekers; eliminate arbitrary roadblocks within existing workforce education programs; prioritize well-paying, in-demand industries; expand opportunities at community colleges, and most importantly, treat all job seekers as individuals.”
The proposal would create a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to serve as a single source of support for workers, employers and job seekers.
The bill now goes to the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate where the SKILLS Act faces an uncertain future.
Congressman Aderholt currently serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Committee’s Commerce, Justice and Science; and Homeland Security Subcommittees. Adeholt also serves on the Helsinki Commission.
Congressman Robert Aderholt represents Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.