CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE TAKES ACTION TO STRENGTHEN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

February 16, 2021
Press Release
Co-sponsors legislation to support workers displaced by the pandemic and create new job opportunities

(Rochester, N.Y.) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced his co-sponsorship of the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act – legislation that would invest $15 billion in federal workforce development programs and expand support for workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year alone, the public health crisis forced millions of Americans out of work, many of whom may not have a job waiting for them when we emerge on the other side,” said Congressman Morelle. “With unemployment at record levels and the pandemic continuing to halt our economy, now is the time to make bold investments that will uplift families, create jobs, and get American workers back on their feet. I’m proud to co-sponsor this critical legislation and look forward to working alongside Chairman Bobby Scott and my colleagues on the Education and Labor Committee to ensure its swift passage.”

The United States lost more than 22 million jobs at the height of the 2020 recession and research suggests more than 7 million of these jobs will not come back. Unfortunately, a vast majority of these jobs impact low-wage employees who may be without the skills and resources to quickly transition to new work. The Relaunching America’s Force Act, H.R. 602, will help fill that gap by investing $15 billion over three years in proven workforce development programs.

Specifically, this legislation:

  • Provides over $11 billion to the state and local public workforce system to support dislocated workers, employers, youth, and adults who are seeking jobs;
  • Invests $1 billion in expanding the capacity of adult education providers to serve adults with low-literacy levels who have been negatively impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 national emergency, including $100 million reserved for adult education in correctional facilities;
  • Invests $1 billion in high-quality, work-based learning opportunities and career and technical education to prepare students for careers in high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand industry sectors and occupations;
  • Invests $2 billion to restart the community college career training grant program, which was initiated during the last recession to help employers find talent in their local area, and provide individuals with career pathways to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand employment opportunities.

“We must do more to support struggling workers and revitalize our economy, and workforce development programs are a proven method to do both,” added Congressman Morelle. “Connecting workers with the skills to meet in-demand, high-wage jobs will get workers back on their feet and ensure we come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.”

More information on the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act can be found here.

Full text of the legislation can be found here