(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement following President Obama’s announcement of Skills for America’s Future.
“As we work to turn our economy around and create jobs in communities across the country, we need to make sure that we have a trained and skilled workforce that is ready to step into those 21st century careers.
“I have been proud to work closely over the years with an amazing group of business owners, workers and unions, workforce boards, community colleges and other schools in my home state of Washington that have come together to tackle this critical issue.
“I am glad that President Obama launched his ‘Skills for America’s Future’ initiative today, and I am looking forward to working with his Administration on this important issue. As a long-time advocate for job training, I know the value of building better connections between the demands of industry and the education and training opportunities available to America’s workers—helping workers gain the skills they need, strengthening businesses ability to thrive, and making sure our nation remains competitive in the global economy. That’s why I continue to be committed to the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, the legislative cornerstone of our national workforce development system.
“Reauthorizing WIA will help us create a system in our country that builds on our proven successes and expertise, and that addresses the problems and shortcomings of the current law. Because we need a workforce system that doesn’t work just in the good times, but supports workers in all economic climates.
“We also need to do a better job of supporting students as they transition from the classroom to the workforce. And we need to make sure they are prepared to move into 21st century careers.
“That’s why I am very excited about a bill I introduced called ‘Promoting Innovations to 21st Century Careers.’ My bill creates more public-private partnerships to help bridge the gap between high school and college education and the workplace. And it aims to give students an opportunity to gain real-world work experience linked to rigorous academic learning.
“Too often, I hear from students who feel that what they learn in school isn’t relevant to the work they will do when they graduate—and unfortunately, too often they’re right. But it doesn’t have to be this way. And I think my Career Pathways bill can help build those strategic partnerships and make sure we are developing new pathways for students to enter competitive jobs.”