RELEASE: Rep. Khanna Introduces Amendment to Evaluate Employment Training Programs for Families in Need
Washington, DC – This morning, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced an amendment to on H.R.2842, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act. It is a bill that will assist low-income individuals by helping some of our most needy Americans to enter the workforce and maintain their employment.
The amendment directs the Department of Health and Human Services to measure the effectiveness of job training programs utilized by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and report publicly on these findings to Congress.
His prepared remarks to the amendment are below. It passed by a voice vote.
Mr./Mrs. Chairman, I rise today in support of HR 2842, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act. I would like to thank the sponsors of this bill, the gentleman from Florida (Rep. Curbelo) and the gentleman from Illinois (Rep. Sessions). This bipartisan bill will assist low-income individuals by helping some of our most needy Americans to enter the workforce and maintain their employment.
I believe one of our top priorities here in Congress must be to promote economic competitiveness and opportunity in the 21st century. A strong economy produces good paying jobs, grows the middle class, and allows people who worked hard their entire lives to retire with dignity.
For far too long, too many Americans have seen stagnating wages and falling incomes, which have left many working families behind. As our economy continues its recovery, our most wealthy are doing better than ever, while thousands across the South Bay and millions across this country are struggling like never before. We need a coherent economic vision that will provide economic opportunity to all Americans.
My amendment is simple. It adds a requirement for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to measure the effect that training and credentialing has on the TANF recipients that will be helped by this bill. The public report and recommendations to Congress are already mandated by the original bill. The amendment will not affect the overall cost of the bill.
There is a body of research demonstrating that providing education and training to TANF recipients makes people more likely to obtain good jobs and increase their wages. They are then more likely to stay employed and move their families out of poverty. The projects funded by this bill provide a great opportunity to add to this research so we can know how to better assist TANF recipients and other unemployed workers with future job training programs.
I also want to thank the gentlewoman from Washington (Rep. DelBene) for her amendment to the bill during markup by the Committee on Ways and Means. That amendment requires that at least one of the subsidized employment demonstration projects must be an apprenticeship program. According to the Labor Department, there are six million job vacancies in the United States. I recently toured a manufacturing site in my district. They told me they want to hire folks, but they were struggling to find workers with the manufacturing skills needed for the jobs.
I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support my amendment that seeks to add information that can be used to modernize our job training, credentialing, and apprenticeship program to help match those seeking employment with our current job openings, while also developing the necessary skills to succeed in the future.
About the CA-17 Office
Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.