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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton Pushes for Job Training for Unemployed Americans

March 15, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) voted today to advance a measure to provide unemployed Americans with immediate access to job skills training programs.  The SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed in the House today, would modernize and reform duplicative and unnecessary bureaucratic programs by consolidating them into a one stop shop for more than 20 million underemployed Americans.

Excerpt of Tipton’s remarks:

“Millions of workers in this country are standing ready to grow the economy, earn an income, and generate tax revenue. But across our nation, these workers, including folks in Pueblo and Grand Junction where real unemployment is around 20 percent, through no fault of their own, lack the necessary silks and resources to find fulltime jobs... We have great resources in our communities, including Pueblo Community College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, and the Mesa County Workforce Center in my district that can open the door to that opportunity by providing would-be-employees with the training and skills needed to make them competitive in an ever-changing workplace.

 “The SKILLS Act… will help job seekers and employers in my district and across the nation by freeing many of our community and technical colleges from bureaucratic blockades, allowing institutions to be listed as eligible for worker retraining as well as provide group training for high-demand jobs. It will modernize and reform federal job training programs by directing resources toward job training instead of bureaucracy. The SKILLS Act is good for jobs, schools, employers, communities and veterans.  Bottom line, it’s good for all Americans who are ready for Washington to act so they can get working again.”

In addition to improving efficiency, the SKILLS Act will increase local control in implementing these programs, thereby reducing financial strain and increasing administrative flexibility.

Furthermore, the SKILLS ACT establishes a new section for Military Transitional Assistance which will help our nation’s heroes and veterans find more opportunities and be better equipped for civilian work through increased counseling, training and other services.

A number of Colorado workforce centers and community colleges voiced support for the work the SKILLS Act accomplishes.

“As a current Workforce Board member and a community college administrator I’m very encouraged by the SKILLS Act going before the House.  The ability to have funding support for training or retraining is important across the country and in my home state of Colorado.  It appears that we are beginning to slowly climb out of the recession and a skilled workforce is essential to recovery.  Knowing that Washington understands the need for a skilled workforce now and in the future is encouraging.  Seeing that our elected officials are willing to back that belief up with funding is very impressive.  I believe the use of taxpayer dollars to enhance a United States workforce is a very wise investment in our most important resource – our citizens.  Thank you very much for your consideration of the SKILLS Act.”—Gene Bilodeau, Vice President of the Craig Campus, Northwestern Colorado Community College


“The debate around the need to educate and train the future workforce is long overdue. WIA reauthorization is critical to the continuation of the quality workforce system that is in place in Colorado and it is also critical that the decisions around the development of business driven training programs as well as other employer focused services be made by local partnerships of educational institutions, workforce centers and economic development entities. It is the local workforce centers throughout the nation that best know the needs of job seekers and employers. I am encouraged with the steps the SKILLS Act takes to ensure employment and training decisions are made at the local level. Funding meant for job training should be spent on actual job training services. As we move to better position the United States in the global economy, only a well-trained skilled workforce will do that.”—Sue Tuffin, Director, Mesa County Workforce Center

“Pueblo Community College is committed to developing a highly skilled workforce to meet the needs of industry and our community.  We strive to develop quality graduates from our degree and certificate programs and also invest in our existing workforce by providing continued customized workforce training and education.  Over the last several years we developed a strong partnership with the Pueblo Workforce Center and have provided numerous opportunities to students, employers and the community with Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds.  WIA has been a valuable program for our students and we are pleased that there may be continued opportunities available through these programs.”—Patty Erjavec, President, Pueblo Community College