Act will improve job training

Act will improve job training

While job growth has remained lackluster during our economic recovery, the construction industry is facing a shortage of qualified workers that threatens the future of the industry — up to 1.6 million workers by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On July 9, the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step toward addressing this by passing HR 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the U.S. Senate passed it June 26. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, supported the bill, and Associated Builders and Contractors of Illinois would like to commend them for their efforts.

The workforce act represents a significant move forward in streamlining and localizing job training by ensuring that the small-business owners who make up our local economy have a role in shaping local workforce development and job-training programs that fit the needs of the local economy.

The bill also takes an important step in ensuring that grants are available to training programs regardless of labor affiliation. By opening up job-training money for all industry-recognized programs, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows more trainees to access the training they need to be productive members of our workforce.

Along with our member companies, ABC of Illinois provides quality training programs that combine on-the-job learning with an up-to-date classroom curriculum. Upon completion, students walk away with a credential that is industry-recognized, nationally portable and highly valuable to employers.

This act will help us further these efforts and provide the central Illinois economy with a qualified workforce.

ALICIA MARTIN

President of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., Illinois Chapter

Springfield

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