Bennet, Portman introduce CAREER Act.

September 27, 2012

On September 20, Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Careers Through Responsive, Efficient and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act (S. 3599), to improve the effectiveness of federal job training programs.  

The CAREER Act will establish a pilot program implementing a pay-for-performance model for the delivery of job-training services in at least 5 states that choose to opt-in. Additionally, it will steer federal retraining funds to programs that provide workers with industry-recognized credentials in demand by industries in state and local workforce areas. It will further require states to submit data on programs that lead to an industry-recognized credential and report state need for such credentials.

The CAREER Act will also require the Administration to produce a “reorganization plan” for the federal workforce development system. The plan must increase efficiencies, integration and alignment of programs without decreasing services or access to services for eligible participants. In developing the reorganization plan, the Administration must seek input from the States, local workforce investment boards, businesses, workforce advocates and community-based organizations, labor organizations, and education-based organizations.  

National Skills Coalition has endorsed 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.”