(KFVS) - On Wednesday, March 15, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and AL Franken (D-MN) announced the reintroduction of their legislation to close what they call the "skills gap."
According to Duckworth and Franken, the "skills gap" makes it difficult for small businesses and other employers to find qualified candidates for unfilled jobs by supporting partnerships between community colleges, technical colleges and businesses to train students to fill high-demand jobs.
"At the same time our small businesses are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill job openings, too many young Americans are struggling to find good-paying jobs once they graduate from school," said Sen. Duckworth. "Community colleges across Illinois and throughout the country can help solve both of these problems if we provide the resources they need to do it.
"I'm proud to re-introduce the Community College to Career Fund Act with Senator Franken to help community colleges prepare students for good-paying jobs nearby, and I look forward to working with him to get it to the President's desk."
The Community College to Career Fund Act supports a workforce model that not only fills open jobs, but also makes education costs lower for students and keeps the country more competitive in the global market. The bill creates a competitive grant program to fund more partnerships between businesses and two-year colleges.
"I've seen these partnerships work all over Minnesota, and I want to scale them up across the country to help boost businesses and create more American jobs," Sen. Franken said. "I've been working to fix the 'skills gap' for a long time, and I'm going to be fighting to make our Community College to Career Fund Act law to fill open jobs, cut education costs for students, and make our country more competitive."
The legislation is supported by the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Skills Coalition, the National Tooling and Machine Association, Opportunity Nation, the Precision Machined Products Association, the Precision Metal Forming Association, Third Way, the United States Student Association and more than 20 other organizations.