House wants SKILLS Act passed to train unemployed - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

House wants SKILLS Act passed to train unemployed

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (02/04/2014) - Right now, more than 12 million Americans are out of work. But there are more than three million job openings unfilled across the country. It's something the president talked about during his State of the Union Address and now lawmakers are pushing legislation that will help fill those jobs.

President Obama has vowed to combat the problem of unemployment.

"Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by," President Obama said. "And too many still aren't working at all."

That's why Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa) co-sponsored the SKILLS – or Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills – Act. It's designed to train the unemployed for jobs that are currently available in the country.

"We want to be able to provide people with the education, the training, so that when they're done with that, they can fill a job that's there – they can be hired," Thompson said.

The House version of the SKILLS Act gives states power to train the unemployed and consolidates and eliminates some federal training programs. Thompson says the SKILLS Act does more than get people back to work. It benefits the country long-term.

"It's also important because it assures America's competitiveness because it provides a qualified and trained work force for employers," he said.

Both Thompson and the president say properly training the work force will strengthen the economy and the middle class.

The House passed its version of the SKILLS Act 215-202. The Senate hasn't taken up the issue. Thompson says he hopes the Senate will pass its own version of the Act soon, so the two chambers can work together to come to a compromise.

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