New Manufacturing Initiative Addresses Skills Gap

October 29, 2013

Bills Included Tie Workforce Education with Market and Employer Outcomes

Today, a broad group of Senators introduced the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative, legislation to strengthen and support the American manufacturing sector. Importantly, the initiative would help address the skills gap in the manufacturing sector by supporting greater and more effective public investments in workforce education tied to market- and employer-relevant outcomes. National Skills Coalition supports the initiative.

“Employers across the country – manufacturers in particular – are telling us that they are struggling to find workers with the skills necessary for the jobs they need to fill,” said Rachel Gragg, federal policy director for National Skills Coalition. “This initiative recognizes the critical importance of strengthening America’s 21st century workforce, to ensure that workers have the skills they need to succeed in the labor market and that employers have the skilled workforce they need to compete in the global economy.”

This initiative includes several bills that National Skills Coalition supports, including:

  • Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation that is critical to supporting the creation if sector partnerships, an effective workforce strategy that brings together multiple employers and other regional industry stakeholders to address both immediate skill shortages and long-term workforce pipelines to ensure the future of that industry.
  • Community College to Career Fund Act, a bill that would help community colleges address the skills gap in their local areas by organizing or expanding industry-driven partnerships to ensure that workers have the skills they need to obtain quality employment and local employers have the skilled worker pipeline they need to compete and grow.
  • On-the-Job Training Act, a bipartisan bill that would streamline and expand federal support for On-the-Job Training (OJT) programs, making it easier for manufacturing sector employers to use this important program.
  • New Skills for New Jobs Act that would build upon state job tax credit programs that ensure limited funding available for training activities is used efficiently and effectively by providing additional federal support.