Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), along with U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.-17), to introduce new bicameral legislation that increases federal investments in worker training and helps prepare workers for the jobs of the future. The Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would ensure that American workers have the skills needed to successfully navigate the transition into higher-skilled positions and in-demand industries. It has been estimated that nearly 50 percent of jobs in the United States could be at risk due to automation.
“Nevada is home to pioneering technology, manufacturing and distribution companies that are growing our economy and cementing our status as the Innovation State. These businesses rely on a workforce poised to tackle the jobs of the 21st century, which is why I’m proud to support legislation that will increase federal investments in specialized work training programs. I’ll continue to fight to ensure that Nevadans have the resources they need to excel in good-paying jobs in new and growing industries.”
Jobs that require knowledge of digital technology have tripled in recent years—the software industry alone supports more than 14 million jobs, a 19 percent increase over the past two years. However, investments in the training needed to transition workers into these new opportunities are at historic lows. The United States spent just 0.1 percent of Global Domestic Product (GDP) on active labor market policies in 2015—significantly less than many European countries and less than half of the level of workforce investments made in the United States 30 years ago.
Specifically, the Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would:
- Study Workforce Training Practices: The bill would direct the GAO to conduct a study of the barriers to providing, and opportunities for improving, training for workers in industries who are most likely to be impacted by automation.
- Invest in Workforce Training: The bill would create a grant program through the Department of Labor to support industry or sector partnerships in developing and carrying out training programs for workers who are, or are likely to become, dislocated because of advances in technology, including automation.
- Expand Current Programs: The bill would increase funding for National Dislocated Worker Grants and amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to ensure workers who are dislocated by automation are included in WIOA programs.