Federal legislation would help job seekers

Rep. Fred Keller

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) recently introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would help job seekers find new career opportunities.

The Strengthening Knowledge, Improving Learning, and Livelihoods (SKILLS) Act, would amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to provide additional criteria for the Dislocated Worker Project.

WIOA supports workforce development by providing skill-building and employment opportunities for displaced, underemployed, or unemployed workers. The program directs assistance to in-demand industries for recruitment and workforce development.

The SKILLS Act would help people who experienced layoffs and closures in industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic to find jobs in fields that are in high demand.

“While some sectors of our economy have been gutted by closures and diminished operations, others — especially long-term care facilities — are in dire need of skilled workers,” Keller said. “The SKILLS Act works to connect individuals with meaningful and in-demand careers while simultaneously ensuring America’s workforce needs are being met, including those essential industries that take great care of our seniors. With over 10 million job openings and not nearly enough workers looking to fill them, I consistently hear from Pennsylvania employers who are desperate for skilled workers. This bill is a positive step towards filling those vacancies and ensuring in-demand fields are being staffed properly.”