Indiana congressman Joe Donnelly is re-introducing legislation that he says will better target worker training funds and connect the available workforce with potential employers. Donnelly told a group at South Bend’s Schafer Gear Works Plant that he will re-introduce the America Works Act.
The legislation passed out of the House by overwhelming majority, but died once it reached the Senate and its sponsor was not re-elected back to office. Donnelly said the legislation works in two parts. The first part would create a skill credentials registry through the Department of Labor giving potential employers a central location to seek out employees with specific skill sets.
“A business can look and say here is a fellow who is certified as a CNC operator and that person can go to work the first day for those companies,” said Donnelly. “What are businesses need is trained, skilled, educated workers.”
The second part would prioritize existing funding sources and match them with certified training and development programs giving future workers direct access to money to fund their education. Donnelly said since the funds are already allocated for educational purposes, the legislation would create no additional drains in the budget.