House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) made the following statement on House passage of the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act:
“Advances in technology have increased the need for workers with specialized skill sets and this evolution must be reflected in new innovative training programs. Last Congress, I held a hearing on small businesses’ growing need for highly skilled workers and how private, industry-led skills certification programs are helping meet these needs. The private sector has led the way on providing specialized skill training programs that meet the needs of many small businesses, and the SKILLS Act only strengthens this by providing streamlined support of these efforts on the federal side.
“The SKILLS Act strengthens the role of employers in workforce development decisions by requiring that two-thirds of state and local Workforce Investment Board members are private sector employers. Greater involvement of small businesses in workforce public policy decisions will result in better workforce development results overall. With 12 million Americans out of work and 3.7 million job openings unfilled, there is a disconnect in our economy that Washington can help address. We must streamline and update ineffective federal workforce development programs, or our unemployment crisis and overall economic output will continue to lag.”
The Skills Act will modernize and reform our federal workforce development programs. It cuts through bureaucracy so workers can access the training they need when they need it. Among other things, The Act would eliminate and streamline 35 ineffective and duplicative workforce development programs, including 27 identified in the 2011 Government Accountability Office report.