Tags:FROM U.S. Sen. KAY HAGAN'S OFFICE
U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today is introducing the AMERICA Works Act, which will create a commonsense system to help out-of-work people find jobs.
“Job creation is my No. 1 priority, and the AMERICA Works Act will connect people looking for work to employment opportunities,” Hagan said. “Job-training programs and the needs of local employers are often not in sync. The AMERICA Works Act creates a nationwide credentialing program -- in industries from machinery to biotechnology -- to solve this problem. Workers will receive industry-recognized, portable credentials from local community colleges that qualify them for employment in any state. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this important, commonsense jobs bill in Congress this year.”
The AMERICA Works Act will encourage national industries, including construction, automotive and aerospace, to come together and agree upon the skill sets necessary for employees. When the industries have agreed upon standards, curriculums will be developed for training programs at community colleges that will offer industry-recognized credentials. When workers have earned an industry-recognized credential, they will be qualified for employment in any state. This credential does not require the cost or time commitment of a two-year degree program; however, the training will count toward a degree.
Jim Rogers, head of Duke Energy, said during the President’s Jobs Council meeting in North Carolina last week that his company cannot find qualified welders to do installation work. Under Senator Hagan’s AMERICA Works Act, workers would receive industry-backed training and walk away with a credential for employment in any state.
This no-cost legislation, which is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, incentivizes existing federal job training programs to implement the new, industry-recognized credential system. These existing programs are included under the Workforce Investment Act, the Perkins Vocation-Technical Education Act, and Trade Adjustment Assistance. The Workforce Investment Act reauthorization will soon be considered by the Senate, Health, Education and Labor Committee, which Hagan sits on, and Hagan is working to include provisions of her bill in the process.
North Carolina is one of four states in the country selected by the Manufacturing Institute to implement a job-training program that issues nationally recognized credentials. Eight community colleges in North Carolina have the Manufacturing Skills Credential System, which is the model for the AMERICA Works Act. The NC community colleges with the program are: Alamance, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Piedmont, Randolph, Rockingham and Surry.
For a summary of Senator Hagan's jobs bill, click here.