Commerce Secretary affirms administration’s commitment to equity, workforce development funding in American Jobs Plan

By , April 07, 2021

More than 10 million people remain unemployed across the country as a result of Covid-19. In March, NSC called on the Biden administration to spur job creation and economic recovery through infrastructure investments. But any investment in job creation must be matched with investments in training for people to fill those new careers.

“It’s a scary place to be to need a job and not have the skills to get a good job,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at Wednesday’s White House press briefing. “That’s why [the American Jobs Plan] calls for big investments in training our workforce.”

The $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure package includes a $100 billion investment in workforce development. That matches the investment called for by 70 state and national organizations in a recent letter to President Biden.

“Equity is front and center”

The American Jobs Plan also shares principles with NSC’s Skills for an Inclusive Economic Recovery framework, focusing on those most impacted by the recession. This includes women, workers of color, immigrants, and those without college degrees, not to mention small- and mid-sized businesses.

“This is about equity in everything we do,” Secretary Raimondo emphasized. “I promise you now equity is front and center.”

Even before the Covid-19, it was apparent that American jobs were undergoing a massive technological transformation. Secretary Raimondo explained that the pandemic has only accelerated that shift, making it difficult for displaced workers.

“This is a reality,” she said. “My view is if you have the guts in the middle of your career to go out and get some job training, to retrain yourself to get a new job, then we need to be there for you to provide high quality, demand-driven, affordable – if not free – job training.”

Further analysis

Want to learn more about the impact of the American Jobs Plan and infrastructure investments on our economic recovery? Join us April 20th for our webinar Building Back Better with People-Centered Infrastructure. We’ll be joined by experts from the BlueGreen Alliance, the Manufacturing Institute, National League of Cities, and National Urban League. Register here.