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BLU letter to Congress for investments in workforce

August 30, 2021

 

The Honorable Chuck Schumer

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Majority Leader

Speaker

United States Senate

United States House of Representatives

322 Hart Senate Office Building

1236 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Washington DC, 20515

 

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Republican Leader

Republican Leader

United States Senate

United States House of Representatives

317 Russell Senate Office Building

2468 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Washington DC, 20515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell,

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help an economy reeling from the public health crisis.  As vaccinations increase, businesses reopen, and families start to resume pre-pandemic activities, our industries are committed to a robust and inclusive economic recovery.   

With a generational shift in occupational roles economy-wide and accelerated level of digital transformation brought on by COVID-19, we have dueling problems—workers unable to find good-paying jobs that fit their skills and employers struggling to hire skilled workers for in-demand and emerging roles.  Strong federal investment in the long-term success of America's workforce is critical to solving both challenges and address this skills mismatch.

For businesses across industries, this mismatch existed prior to the pandemic and was only exacerbated by the crisis:

  • Surveys of manufacturing executives at the end of 2020 found 62.4% of respondents identified “inability to attract and retain talent” as their primary current business challenge, a concern that had topped the list for ten quarters prior to the pandemic.
  • Analyses of previous infrastructure deals suggests that every $100 billion invested creates 1 million new jobs, largely in construction, energy, transportation and logistics industries, the majority of which require some training after high school.
  • Employment in healthcare occupations will grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, adding 2.4 million new jobs.
  •  Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 280,000 in March 2021 but was still down by 3.1 million jobs since February 2020. Likewise, retail added 23,000 jobs in March 2021, but employment was still 381,000 below its February 2020 level.

Congressional investments in workforce training and supports are essential to position workers for the new, skilled jobs that are going to be part of a different post-pandemic economy and to meet industry demand.  And workers themselves agree – 82% want increased public investment in skills training to help people find new jobs in response to the pandemic and 81% want to see increased investments in skills training in the long-term.

The undersigned businesses and industry associations urge you to support investments in workforce and skills as part of any economic recovery legislation. Specifically, we urge you to:

  • Provide sufficient resources to support the demand for sector-based workforce training and reskilling programs that help bridge skills mismatch, including workers' digital skill needs, while promoting more equitable economic mobility,
  • Expand workforce training capacity by providing tax incentives for training programs led by industry, educators, and non-profit organizations and embracing flexible short-term and on-line training in key digital and emerging, in-demand skills, and
  • Drive informed training by growing real-time labor force data identifying economywide trends focused on emerging roles and the skills needed for in-demand jobs and high-demand sectors and measure the equitable impact of public investments.

We are committed to helping workers thrive in the changing economic landscape.  Given the scale of change, government investment, assistance, and incentives are needed now more than ever to prepare the workforce for the economy of the future. We stand ready to work with you to build a strong and resilient economy.

 

AccuRounds

ACT | The App Association

Advanced Manufacturing Practices and

 Educational Development (AMPED)

AEFIS

Amazon Web Services

American Mold Builders Association

Anning - Johnson Company

Associated Equipment Distributors

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association

Atlassian

Atrium Health

Austin Chamber of Commerce

Autodesk

Automation Alley

AVR Connect

Bay Area Council

BC Compliance Group, LLC

Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce

Boston Centerless

BrightHive Inc

BSA | The Software Alliance

Building Industry Association of Washington

Business Leaders United

California Manufacturers & Technology Association

CertNexus

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Code Name Collective, LLC

Colorado Technology Association

Cook Group Incorporated

Credly

Custom Plastics and More

Dell

Diego & Son Printing, Inc.

DocuSign

East Bay Economic Development Alliance

Electronic Security Association

Emma Coalition

Extensis

gener8tor

Global Community Services

Global Partner Solutions LLC

Grand Rapids Chamber

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Greater Des Moines Partnership

Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

Greater Spokane Inc

Greater Springfield Partnership (Springfield, Ohio)

Guild Education

Gwinnett Chamber

Hillyard Inc.

Hillyard Industries, Inc.

Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)

 Chesapeake Chapter

Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

iQ4

Jackson Area Manufacturers Association

Jos. H. Lowenstein & Sons, Inc.

Lawrence County (TN) Chamber of Commerce

LightPoint Corporation

LinkedIn

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

Marine Industry Training & Education Council

Massachusetts Business Roundtable

Merify, LLC

Metro Atlanta Chamber

Microsoft Corporation

Mills Machine Company

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Skills Coalition

National Tooling and Machining Association

Newark Alliance

North American Die Casting Association

North Country Chamber of Commerce

North Easton Machine Company Inc.

O'Neill Construction Group

Opportunity@Work

Optimax Systems, Inc.

Orange County Business Council

Partnership Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration

Accreditation PAHRA

Precision Machine Products Association

Precision Metalforming Association

Prisma Health

Qunnections Management Group, LLC

R & R Transportation Inc.

Rosendin

Salesforce

Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation

SAP

Seattle Southside Chamber

Seimens USA

Splunk

Spotlight News

Susque-View Home

Talent 2025

Technology Association of Oregon

The 1896 Studios & Stages Inc.

The Business Council of New York State, Inc

The Manufacturing Institute

The McGregor Metalworking Companies

The New England Council

The Spinney Group

Three Rivers Development Corporation

Top Notch Personnel, LLC

Trinity Health

Tucson Metro Chamber

Turn Consulting, LLC

Twilio

UCC Environmental

Udacity

UNITE-LA

VMware

Waukesha Metal Products

Webcor

Woodland & Associates LLC

Workday

Wyoming Machine, Inc.

York County Economic Alliance

 

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