Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) made the following statement on the proposals announced by President Obama to help unemployed workers gain new skills.

“As we work to turn our economy around and break out of this recession, we need to ensure that America’s workers, our most valuable assets, have the skills and training they need for good paying jobs in promising fields.

“That is why I fought for $4 billion to be included in the Recovery package for job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act, and have worked for years to improve workforce development in our country.

“And that is why I strongly support President Obama’s announcement today that he will make it easier for unemployed workers to access Pell Grant scholarships, break down barriers for worker retraining, and actively reach out to unemployed workers to help them get back in the job market and back on their feet.

“As a former educator and long time advocate for workforce development, I understand that our competitiveness and prosperity depend on the skills and abilities of our workers.

“Investing in our workers not only helps the economy immediately, it also lays the foundation for strong, long term, economic growth. I know that it is so important that we make the vital connections between the drivers of economic growth, and the skills and knowledge we’re offering to our workers.

“I am confident that the President’s proposals are a strong step in that direction, and I look forward to working in partnership with the Administration to help workers get the skills they need to not just get by, but get ahead.”