Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Rally's House to Pass Workforce Development Legislation

Jun 12, 2017
Press Release
21st Century Energy and Manufacturing Workforce Bill Seeks to Prioritize Educating and Training Workers From Underrepresented Groups Such as Minorities, Women, and Veterans

Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) spoke on the House floor to discuss passage of H.R. 338 — To Promote a 21st Century Energy and Manufacturing Workforce. This bill directs the Secretary of Energy to prioritize the training of underrepresented groups, including minorities, women, and veterans, as well as displaced and unemployed energy and manufacturing workers, in order to increase the number of skilled candidates trained to work in these related fields.

Rush stated on the House floor, “This bill will strengthen and more fully engage Department of Energy programs and national laboratories in order to carry out the Department’s workforce development initiatives. American need a jobs bill that will benefit all communities and help lift up the entire economy as the energy and manufacturing industries are two of the most critical and fastest growing sectors both domestically, as well as internationally.

“One of the challenges that many of my constituents have brought to my attention pertain to individuals participating in training programs that in many cases do not always lead to actually finding a job. With that in mind, this bill will help industry, schools, and community-based workforce organizations to identify candidates for enrollment into training and apprenticeship programs.”

This legislation will help to develop a skilled labor force, trained to work in a wide array of sectors, including renewables, energy efficiency, oil and gas, coal, nuclear, utility, pipeline, alternative fuels, as well as energy-intensive and advanced manufacturing industries. The 21st Century Workforce legislation addresses an issue that is neither partisan nor bipartisan, but rather is a nonpartisan issue that benefits communities, industry, and the overall American economy. This bill brings together government agencies, including the national labs, the energy and manufacturing industries, unions, schools, community colleges, and universities, among others, and promotes cooperation and collaboration to make sure that we are tapping into a wealth of underutilized talent and training and preparing workers for the energy and manufacturing jobs of the present and future.

The objective will be to ensure that the skills learned are immediately transferable to good-paying jobs and careers within the energy and manufacturing sectors, regionally, nationally, and indeed all across the globe.