Senator Collins Introduces Legislation to Expand Employment Opportunities Across the State of Maine

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced The Workforce Promotion to Access Training to Help Workers, Adults, and Youth Succeed (PATHWAYS) Act, a bipartisan bill that would create a public-private partnership to help job seekers in Maine and across the country find critical information about employment opportunities.

 

“Matching job seekers with job openings in high-demand fields is key to helping Americans find rewarding, good-paying jobs and reach their full potential,” said Senator Collins. “The Workforce PATHWAYS Act would accomplish this by compiling and distributing information on employment opportunities and workforce training programs to help individuals find a new career path. In the midst of the current economic crisis, it is particularly important that we connect Americans with the resources that they need to succeed.”

 

“Senator Collins has always been a great partner in closing the skills gap, and we applaud her efforts on the Workforce PATHWAYS Act.  Maine employers are always looking for ways to connect with the skilled workforce they need.  Education, job training, apprenticeships, recruitment and more are tools we can use to identify and train Maine’s workforce,” said Dana Connors, President and CEO, Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “The proposed Corporation for Career Pathways would help build on efforts from the Maine Chamber like Maine Spark and bring needed focus to workforce development efforts.”

 

The legislation would establish a consortium of businesses, labor leaders, and education groups to highlight emerging industries; provide awards and recognition to programs and employers offering successful training; and coordinate opportunities for women, minorities, veterans, seniors, and other diverse candidates within job markets. The consortium would also be responsible for communicating this information to the public with easy-to-understand guides and marketing materials tailored to regions, states, and localities.          

 

Specifically, the Workforce PATHWAYS Act would create a “Corporation for Career Pathways.” This national non-profit would provide workforce support both nationally and regionally by establishing a public-private partnership at which various experts process U.S. and state labor market data, learn and develop additional pathways toward current and future high-demand jobs, and explain them to Americans through a comprehensive and effective marketing campaign. The non-profit would be:

 

·         Operated by a national board, selected by the Administration’s Cabinet, and supported by staff for their expertise in all areas of the American labor market and training infrastructure;

 

·         Structured to establish goals, outline its operations, and measure its success annually;

 

·         Intent on providing a clear, comprehensive, and understandable roadmap of current and future job markets at the national, state, and local level; and

 

·         Funded through the authorization of $25 million annually, with equal matching funds from the non-federal public and private sectors.

 

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