Sen. Kaine leads lawmakers in calling for job training investment in Build Back Better bill

Virginia News

In this image from video, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks as the Senate reconvenes after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

WASHINGTON (WFXR) — As negotiations continue in Congress about the Build Back Better bill, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) led 14 of their colleagues in writing a letter to President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging them to invest in job training in the bill.

In the letter, the senators emphasize the need to grow a workforce with the skills needed for the jobs that will be created by the bipartisan infrastructure package following reports of labor shortage challenges across the country.

“The Build Back Better plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are inextricably linked. We need workforce investments to achieve a truly inclusive economic recovery for all workers from COVID-19 that will help the U.S. compete globally,” the senators wrote in the letter.

“Construction, manufacturing, and infrastructure industries were facing shortages of skilled workers even before the pandemic, and demand for workers has only grown with impending infrastructure investments and as local areas are able to reinvest in capital projects previously put on hold because of the pandemic,” they continued. “The Build Back Better plan gives us a chance to build a workforce with the skills to match the jobs that we will create with this once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure.”

Kaine — a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee — has been a longtime supporter of training programs to help workers prepare for the jobs of the future, according to officials.

Earlier this year, the senator’s office says, Kaine introduced his bipartisan JOBS Act, which would expand access to federal financial aid for high-quality, short-term job training programs that meet local industry demand, as well as empower people to enter the workforce and address the nation’s skilled workforce shortage.

The letter is also signed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Kaine’s office sent WFXR News a copy of the letter, which you can read below:

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