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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell, Co-Chair of the New Economy Task Force, Seeks Input from Community Colleges on the Skills Gap in the American Work Force

October 4, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), co-chair of the House Democratic Caucus New Economy Task Force, is seeking input from community colleges about how they are addressing the skills gap in the American work force with the goal of gleaning new information that will help guide policy discussions on the issue in Congress. 

Dingell asked community colleges to provide information on the skills being taught in educational institutions and how federal policy can help address the disparities between existing workforce skills and the skills sought by companies for the jobs of tomorrow.

“Our nation’s community colleges are on the front lines of innovation,” Dingell said. “Students are learning to repair the engine of an airplane and protect against cyberattacks, and are being trained to enter vital skilled trades careers like welding, carpentry, plumbing and pipefitting. With the economy changing at a rapid pace, community colleges play a critical role in preparing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Hearing from schools in Michigan and across the country will help inform our work to develop policies that will ensure the U.S. can compete in the 21st century global economy and ensure everyone who wants a good job can find one and provide for their families.”

Despite 6.8 million Americans currently seeking jobs in the U.S., a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 45 percent of small business owners said they were unable to find qualified applicants to fill job openings. 

“The skills gap leaves us unable to adequately address one aspect of America’s unemployment problem. Discovering more about how our educational institutions are specifically training students to enter the work force will help House Democrats prepare our future workers for their future careers,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY). “With the leadership of Rep. Dingell, I’m confident in House Democrats’ ability to develop policies that will help give students and workers the opportunities to gain the skills needed for the future.”

With a rapidly changing economy and new challenges facing American workers, the New Economy Task Force will take a forward-leaning approach to job growth, looking at rapidly advancing technology, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and ensuring workers are trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

The New Economy Task Force is one of five Democratic Caucus Jobs for America Task Forces, all focused on creating opportunities for growth, boosting hardworking families, and giving every worker the opportunity to achieve the American dream by developing legislation focused on investing in key industries. The effort was launched by House Democratic Caucus in September. 

For more information on the Jobs for America Task Forces, please visit: www.dems.gov/jobsforamerica.