10 Sep Feingold continues E4 roll out with introduction of bill
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced two pieces of legislation to enhance workforce development in Wisconsin by connecting workers with good jobs as part of his E4 Initiative, an effort to fuel job creation and spur economic development. Feingold has regularly heard from Wisconsin businesses unable to find qualified employees and from skilled workers unable to find employment. Feingold’s E4 Initiative will bridge the disconnect with two new bills: the Skills Standards Certification Evaluation Act, which would expand awareness of and access to existing skills standards so more people are prepared and certified to work in existing and emerging fields; and the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Improvement Act, introduced to offer more transportation options for workers to commute to the businesses that need them.
“Wisconsin has an outstanding workforce and we must do more to help connect these workers with employers,” Feingold said. “My E4 initiative will not only help workers get to work by improving transportation, it will also empower hard-working Americans by making it easier for employers to recognize their skills.”
Skills Standards Certification Evaluation Act
Feingold’s Skills Standards Certification Evaluation Act will evaluate existing skills standards certification programs and make it easier for employers and potential employees to find inform at ion about these programs. The measure will require the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce to evaluate current skill standard programs that have been developed with federal funding. After the evaluation of skill standards programs, Feingold will continue to work to streamline the programs to ensure maximum portability for workers. Feingold’s legislation will also increase access to and awareness of skill standards programs by requiring them to be posted online.
“Skill standards certificates empower workers by providing them with proof of their skills, an important bargaining chip that can mean better wages and benefits, more opportunity, and less time searching for employment,” Feingold said. “My bill is the first step toward streamlining the current, sometimes fragmented skills standards certificate programs so they will better benefit the hard-working Americans they were designed to help.”
Detailed inform at ion on the Skills Standards Certification Evaluation Act found here.
Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Improvement Act
The Jobs Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program Improvement Act will tackle transport at ion challenges that many workers face by increasing funding for the current JARC program by $100 million over the next five years. The JARC program provides reliable transport at ion to help low income workers reach more destinations so they can have access to better jobs. Feingold’s bill will also streamline reporting and paperwork requirements for JARC and establish a pilot program to further evaluate possible improvements to the program.
“Expanded transit programs, van pools, vehicle purchase or repair programs for low income workers can help connect workers with the employers who need them,” Feingold said.
Detailed inform at ion on the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Program Improvement Act found here.
Both Feingold’s skills standards and transport at ion legislation are fully offset so as to not increase the federal deficit. More inform at ion on Senator Feingold’s E4 Initiative is available at http://feingold.senate.gov/e4.