U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, left, joins other members of Congress to introduce new legislation to promote American manufacturing, job creation and workforce development Thursday in the Capitol.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Illinois) this week introduced new legislation aimed at strengthening American manufacturing through workforce retraining.
“I have heard from employers in Southern Illinois, particularly in the manufacturing sector, that they have open positions but cannot find trained, qualified applicants to fill these jobs,” Enyart said. “That’s why I’m sponsoring the Workers Opportunity and Retraining Competitive (WORC) Grant Program Act of 2014.”
Enyart’s legislation was introduced Thursday with other members of Congress supporting the House Democrats’ “Make It in America” agenda to increase domestic manufacturing and job creation. The bill was introduced at the same time Enyart’s office hosted a successful hiring event at Shawnee College in Ullin that attracted nearly 40 employers and more than 200 job seekers.
“Washington isn’t working to address unemployment,” Enyart stated. “Congress should be using its time to address solutions like these that would put people back to work in high-skill, high-wage jobs.”
The WORC Grant Program Act establishes a manufacturing grant program to provide scholarships to unemployed workers for manufacturing job retraining.
These scholarships will be available through local Workforce Investment Boards and will fund manufacturing skill enhancement programs for unemployed workers at community and technical colleges, and through other eligible providers.
The goal of this program is to provide funded training for unemployed workers to transition into manufacturing jobs available in their communities.
Scholarship funding is up to $2,000 per year per person for up to two years. The legislation is H.R. 4824.
Enyart’s bill is a companion to legislation he introduced last year to further workforce retraining, the Job Opportunities Between Our Shores (JOBS Act). The JOBS Act strengthens partnerships between community colleges, employers and local workforce investment boards.
“I’m committed to improving our economy by strengthening our manufacturing sector. It’s time that Congress makes job creation a high priority too,” Enyart said.