Legislation would prepare young people for jobs, boost future earnings
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would help prepare young people for jobs and boost their economic potential. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act would create partnerships between afterschool providers and businesses to help students develop essential workforce readiness skills – like critical thinking and decision making – and learn about different career paths.
“Moving our economy forward begins with one of our greatest assets – our hard-working, resilient young people,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan bill would create meaningful partnerships between afterschool providers and businesses to help young people strengthen critical skills, explore different career paths, and prepare for a lifetime of success.”
Right now, many young people in Maine and across America are concerned about whether they have the skills necessary to secure a job in the future. Lack of adequate workforce readiness also leads to negative economic effects for employers, who often cite challenges in finding well-prepared talent as an obstacle to growth. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act would help solve this problem by supporting programs that allow young people to gain skills and connect them to real-life work experiences.
The Youth Workforce Readiness Act of 2021 would support programs that provide young people with:
· Essential-skill development through formal and informal learning experiences;
· Career exploration through community-based business partnerships, including discovery opportunities, career assessments, and planning into a variety of career paths;
· Employability skills including interviewing, resume writing, financial literacy, and credential/certification opportunities that help young people find their first job; and
· Work-based learning opportunities to practice and apply skills in hands-on work environments through local community business partnerships.
In addition to Senator Collins, the legislation was introduced by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The House companion is led by Representatives Josh Harder (D-CA 10), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA 1), Mark Pocan (D-WI 02) and Lisa McClain (R-MI 10).
Click HERE to read a summary of the bill.