Senate bill aims to close jobs gap for skilled labor

U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate this week to promote more jobs in skilled labor occupations.

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There has been an employment gap in several industries due to skill shortages, particularly among electricians, carpenters, plumbers, pipe fitters and steam fitters. Additionally, approximately 41% of the workforce in this industry is expected to retire by 2031 according to Associated General Contractors of America. These labor shortages can cause delays in the completion of large commercial building projects, small business improvements and residential projects.

The bill, the Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act, S. 4881, would amend the Small Business Act to include requirements for graduates of vocational and technical education programs or study programs for development centers small businesses and women’s business centres.

“I ran Great Bend Regional Hospital for many years. I understand how difficult it is to have enough employees on your team to meet demand. We often hear that our big cities and our small towns are struggling to access essential business services, and part of the problem is that there aren’t enough people with the skills to provide those services,” said Marshall.

“Senator Coons and I are offering a solution with this bill that helps CTE graduates get jobs in small businesses in areas where their business skills are needed and, if a community doesn’t have a business that offers a certain trade, our bill helps CTE graduates. with the start of theirs,” he added.

S. 4881 is complementary legislation to a similar bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX).

“Skilled workers make extraordinary contributions to the economy and provide essential services that Americans depend on every day,” Williams said. “This bill will encourage more young people to pursue valuable CTE professions and help graduates one day translate their skills into their own small businesses. I look forward to working with both senators to get this bill to the President’s office so that it becomes law.

Norman D. Briggs