Ask Congress to Invest in Workforce Development

by Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Relations, Goodwill Industries International

The House of Representatives returned to Washington, DC for a moment during their summer recess for a crucial vote on the budget resolution. The budget resolution which already passed the Senate, sets the stage to allow committees to move forward with crafting the reconciliation package which will include investments outlined in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. The House also passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (which now goes to the Senate where it is expected to stall) and agreed to take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate on September 27.

Tensions exist between moderate Democrats in the House and Senate who are concerned about the $3.5 trillion price tag of the reconciliation package, and progressives who say they will not back the bipartisan infrastructure bill if moderates don’t support reconciliation. While the final cost remains to be seen, now is the time to contact lawmakers and make sure that investing in job training and workforce remains a priority. There’s a non-binding September 15 deadline for committees to complete their work and the Education and Labor Committee which has jurisdiction over many of the programs of interest to Goodwill® will markup their portion on September 9.

The American Jobs Plan proposed a $100 billion investment over the next ten years in workforce training programs and other services to connect workers with good-paying jobs and provide businesses a new pipeline of talented employees. This type of investment is critical to preparing the workforce needed to improve the nation’s infrastructure and needs to be included in the reconciliation package.

Local Goodwill organizations around the country proudly play an integral role in the workforce development system, operating American Job Centers and career centers that prepare job seekers for in-demand careers by guiding and supporting them in learning new skills, earning credentials, creating resumes, and preparing for interviews.

In 2020, Goodwill collectively connected more than 126,000 people in the United States and Canada with jobs through career services programs. That equates to more than 300 people finding employment every day. That same year, more than 20 million people accessed Goodwill services through, including training, mentoring and online learning.

By making robust investments in workforce development, this system can reach even more Americans and help them find rewarding careers.

Join us in our outreach to lawmakers and help ensure that robust federal funding for workforce development is prioritized in the upcoming reconciliation package. Click here to take action via GII’s Legislative Action Center and contact your members of Congress today.