In Case You Missed It: Here's What They're Saying About Portman, Bennet CAREER Act

April 25, 2013 | Press Releases

Yesterday, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Careers Through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act, renewing a push to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market 

In case you missed it, here is what educators, employers, and other stakeholders have to say in support of the CAREER Act:

“Supports the ability of U.S. businesses to find the skilled workforce they need”

“Manufacturers are consistently struggling to find the skilled workers they need and are often left with long-term openings across all aspects of the manufacturing process. The CAREER Act addresses the problem by appropriately focusing federal workforce training dollars on training certifications that have been endorsed by employers as valuable and necessary in the workplace.”
-- Joe Trauger, Vice President, Human Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers

“It is vitally important that Congress work to strengthen and reform our federal job training programs to help ensure that workers have the skills they need to succeed in the labor market and that employers have the skilled workforce they need to compete in the global economy. The CAREER Act offers a reasonable, bipartisan proposal to begin to improve our nation’s workforce development system. America’s economic future depends, at least in part, on the skills of its workforce. We greatly appreciate Senators Bennet’s and Portman’s efforts to better ensure that hard-working individuals seeking employment can obtain the skills and credentials they need to succeed in today’s labor market, and to support the ability of U.S. businesses to find the skilled workforce they need to take advantage of new markets and emerging economic opportunities.”
-- Rachel Gragg, Ph.D., Federal Policy Director, National Skills Coalition

“The commonsense reforms [the CAREER Act] provides will serve the best interests of employers and job-seekers alike. Few factors are more critical to manufacturing competitiveness than a motivated, highly skilled and well-trained workforce. While federal job training resources may be adequate, the widely acknowledged inefficienceis and duplication, as well as lack of alignment and responsiveness to industry needs, make the time ripe for sensible reforms that will deliver better results. Quality workforce development is essential to ensuring the talent needed to drive our nation's continued economic leadership and global competitiveness. This is especially true for Ohio manufacturers, who generate 17 percent of our state's Gross State Product.  We applaud [Senator Portman's] vision and leadership in putting this vital issue front and center before our nation's leaders.”
-- Eric Burkland, President, Ohio Manufacturers Association

“As a technology company with a highly skilled workforce, we actively recruit at American universities and pursue students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields to work for our company.  We strongly support efforts, including the CAREER ACT, that help grow and develop U.S. talent in areas of high demand, such as STEM.  For the past several years we have championed efforts to encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and careers through our own goIT STEM awareness program and are encouraged to see additional efforts at the federal level that help address the STEM skills gap.”
-- Amar Naga, Director, North America Delivery Centers, Tata Consultancy Services

“The Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board, which represents Cincinnati and Hamilton County, has long advocated and supported a demand-driven approach to workforce investment and training. We listen to the business leaders on our board, and have partnered with industry leaders in healthcare, construction, advanced manufacturing and information technology,  as one of the founders of successful career pathway collaboratives in Greater Cincinnati.  We are strong supporters of the CAREER Act’s emphasis on training programs that are industry-driven, in-demand and lead to industry and nationally recognized credentials, as well as the Act's focus on expanded employer engagement in the public workforce investment system.”
-- Sherry Kelley Marshall, President & CEO, Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board

“It is well established that college degrees benefit both individuals and businesses in every community.  The CAREER Act will ensure that more federal dollars are focused on education and training that equip workers with skills that fit the needs of industry so workers can get back to work. Credentials and college degrees help workers meet those industry needs.  As more employers look to fill their talent pipeline with a skilled and nimble workforce, it is more important than ever to recognize the significance of the college degree and support the training that will keep America competitive in a global marketplace.”
-- Ann Womer Benjamin, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education

“Provides an important “next step” in demonstrating that Pay for Success approaches will produce results”

“America Forward and our Coalition members have long advocated for public investments to be driven by data demonstrating successful outcomes through Pay for Success strategies. In the case of workforce and other human service programs, our advocacy has been based not only on what best serves the beneficiaries of such programs and services, but on the recognition that limited public investment dollars must maximize successful outcomes and successful results are vital to ensuring the competitiveness of our national economy. Your legislation would provide an important “next step” in demonstrating that Pay for Success approaches will produce such results in workforce and other public investments.”
-- Deborah S. Smolover, Executive Director, America Forward

“As a coalition of for profit companies, we understand the concept of Pay for Performance and the importance of properly aligning financial incentives. It has long been our thinking that public investments can be most effective if focused on outcomes as opposed to inputs. In the workforce training context, this means investments must focus not simply on providing discrete skill training modules, but rather on preparing people for career path employment. We applaud your leadership in reintroducing the CAREER Act and look forward to working with you in the years to come on this very important issue.”
-- John Wilcox, Executive Director, Corporate Voices for Working Families

“Good for our taxpayers, our companies, and our young people”

"Like last year’s CAREER Act, your new legislation is good for our taxpayers, our companies, and our young people. I applaud you for the progress you have made in pushing this bill to the floor and continuing to advance the movement toward a stronger workforce system, and look forward to working with you in the years to come to expand opportunity to America’s young adults."
-- Gerald Chertavian, Founder and CEO, Year Up

“Streamlines the process”

“Sen. Portman is truly a champion of workforce development and understands the critical role technical education plays in getting people back to work quickly while providing the skills Ohio business needs.  Ohio ACTE is supportive and appreciative of his efforts to make skill-building programs more accessible to Ohioans who need to find new ways to make a living in today's economy.  The CAREER Act will help to streamline the process and provide support to programs that are working for Ohio.”
-- Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director

“BioOhio is proud to partner with Ohio’s Community College’s and Career Centers to provide effective and varied workforce training options in support of Ohio’s growing bioscience industry.   The bipartisan CAREER ACT proposed by Senator Portman, looks to make partnerships like this more effective by streamlining the federal process and targeting funds to where they are most needed.”
-- John F. Lewis Jr., Interim President, BioOhio

“HR Policy Association welcomes [the CAREER Act] and its goal of improving our nation’s job training system. Though well-intentioned, the current array of programs causes confusion for job seekers as well as employers who might otherwise want to engage in federally funded job training services.  Likewise, the Association strongly supports efforts to more closely align federally funded job training programs with the skills needed by business and industry.  More closely linking training with industry recognized credentials is the most certain way to ensure federally funded training results in employment.”
-- Kendra Kosko, Vice President, Government Relations, HR Policy Association

“The CAREER Act will streamline the process for eligible unemployed and under-employed individuals to receive assistance.  This bill will steer federal retraining dollars toward skills needed by industry. Northwest State Community College has and will continue to train people to fill current and anticipated job openings.”
-- Tom Stuckey, President, Northwest State Community College

“Serves the best interests of employers and job-seekers alike”

"The CAREER Act directs workforce training dollars to the industries that will have the greatest economic impact in a region, helping our businesses to get the workers they need while helping our economy recover and grow across all industries. The improved accountability ensures that we’ll get results."
-- Jeff Hoagland, President & CEO, Dayton Development Coalition

“What community colleges and tech schools do well is react to the reality on the ground. What I like about the CAREER Act is that it helps clean up the federal system so that more money comes back to these folks in the state.”
-- Tim Timken, Chairman of the Timken Company

“We are glad that Senator Portman is taking the CAREER Act back to Washington, and we at U.S. Steel and at HR Policy Association want to partner in that effort.”
-- Susan M. Suver, Vice President of Human Resources at U.S. Steel Corporation and Chair of HR Policy Association's Workforce Development Public Policy Committee

“Responsive to the real-time landscape of the job market”

“The CAREER Act will make federal job training more responsive to the real-time landscape of the job market by prioritizing training that equips participants with the skills that are in demand by industry. It also gives states several tools they need to ensure sensible outcomes such as job placement and retention. Community colleges like ours are at the front line of workforce education and this bill will help us provide prospective workers with the skills they need to perform at a high level on day one.”
-- Dr. Roy Church, President of Ohio’s Lorain County Community College

“The CAREER Act will make federal job training more responsive to job market by prioritizing training for “in demand” skills that are prized by industry and commerce.  Community colleges are on the front lines of workforce and career education and this common-sense measure will help us provide the workers of day and tomorrow the skills they need to hit the ground running. We also believe this bipartisan legislation will make federal job training programs more efficient and effective and more able to respond to the changing business needs in a global economy.” 
-- Dr. Ron Abrams, President of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges

“Workforce leaders in the Cincinnati region have a long history of working closely with employers to align education and training programs with industry needs. We see the CAREER Act as a great step forward in helping us prepare workers for in-demand jobs and helping our employers access the skilled workers they need to compete.”
-- Ross Meyer, Executive Director, Partners for a Competitive Workforce

“The CAREER Act is perfect for us at the Cincinnati State University. It's great for us at the community college level. We are training people with the credentials and skills that are needed in our region.”
 -- Dr. O’dell Owens, President of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

“Provides flexibility to improve outcomes for youth”

“In order to improve opportunity for 6.7 million young Americans who are currently out of school or out of work, we have to change the way we do business.  We need to ensure maximum results for our investments. The CAREER Act supports initiatives that will help achieve that goal by providing flexibility to improve outcomes for youth; aligning job training with regional and State workforce needs; holding providers accountable for results; and maximizing taxpayer dollars. The CAREER Act is a reasonable, bipartisan proposal that will support State and local efforts to re-engage disconnected youth and put them back to work.”
-- Mark Edwards, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation

“There has never been a more critical time to align strategic resources to impact skills attainment in the American workforce.  Senator Portman understands the importance of obtaining certifications with accountability and connecting the unemployed to jobs.  The CAREER Act recognizes the need to leverage key investments in community colleges and career technical institutions across the nation to deliver a well-trained competitive 21st Century workforce.” 
-- Susan Muha, Executive Vice President, Workforce and Economic Development Division, Cuyahoga Community College

“As president of Zane State College and as a member of the Zanesville Muskingum County Port Authority, I know that one of the things new businesses look for when considering locating to a community is a skilled workforce.  The CAREER Act legislation will help educational institutions become better equipped with the resources required to attract new businesses, to meet the workforce training needs of existing businesses, and to make southeast Ohio a thriving and vibrant region.”
-- Paul Brown, President, Zane State College