Rep. Walt Minnick introduced a workforce training bill today that he's dubbed the AMERICA WORKS Act, as in the American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Works Act.
The bill encourages community colleges and professional-technical programs across the country to design and offer training programs and industrial certifications that are transferable anywhere in the country. The bill is supported by manufacturers, labor and community colleges, what Minnick spokesman John Foster called the "three-legged stool" of the workforce.
Alisha Hyslop at the Association for Career and Technical Education, which represents teachers and administrators at community colleges, said they support industry recognized credentials that are national and portable, but she said the bill appears to be driven mainly by industry concerns, specifically the National Association of Manufacturers.
But Minnick also demonstrated support from organized labor, quoting the Pacific Northwest Carpenters union in his press release, along with representatives of NAM and North Idaho College.
But here's the best part; the bill is short, as in a page. Here it is in its entirety, from the Library of Congress:
To require that certain Federal job training and career education programs give priority to programs that provide a national industry-recognized and portable credential.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Act' or the `AMERICA Works Act'.
SEC. 2. NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED AND PORTABLE CREDENTIALS FOR JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS.
(a) Workforce Investment Act-
(1) GENERAL EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES- Section 134 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864) is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(f) Priority for Programs That Provide a National Industry-Recognized Credential- In selecting and approving training programs or services under this section, a State, a local board, and a one-stop delivery system shall give priority approval to programs that provide a national industry-recognized and portable credential, certificate, or degree.'.
(2) YOUTH ACTIVITIES- Section 129(c)(1)(C) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2854(c)(1)(C)) is amended by redesignating clauses (ii) through (iv) as clauses (iii) through (v), respectively, and inserting after clause (i) the following:
`(ii) to the extent available and appropriate, a national industry-recognized credential, certificate, or degree;'.
(b) Career and Technical Education- Section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2302) is amended by inserting `that is nationally recognized and portable and which may provide a basis for additional credentials, certificates, or degrees' after `an industry-recognized credential'.
(c) Training Programs Under TAA- Section 236(a)(5) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2296(a)(5)) is amended by inserting after the sentence that follows subparagraph (H)(ii) the following: `In approving training programs under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall seek to approve programs that provide a national industry-recognized and portable credential, certificate, or degree.'.
PS You may have to read the three other lengthy pieces of legislation this bill amends in order to fully comprehend this stuff. But it's still short.