Committee Holds Virtual Briefing on Relaunching America’s Public Workforce System After COVID-19

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and Labor held a virtual briefing to discuss rebuilding America’s public workforce system as the nation endures a deep recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public workforce system funds job training and career navigation support, wraparound services, and helps employers avoid layoffs through supporting the financing of on-the-job training and incumbent worker training. The panelists and Members discussed how our chronically underfunded public workforce system needs robust investment in order to survive the nation’s historic economic downturn.  

The briefing featured Yvette Chocolaad, Policy Director at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), and Nicole Sherard-Freeman, City of Detroit’s Executive Director of Workforce Development and Detroit at Work in 2019.   

“For our economy to recover, unemployed workers and employers must be able to access our nation’s workforce programs for the resources and support they need to re-enter the workforce and retain workers. Unfortunately, our public workforce system was significantly under-resourced going into this pandemic and is not prepared to cope with a surge in demand from newly unemployed workers,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.“Economists are now projecting that between 30 percent and 42 percent of the jobs lost due to COVID-19 will not come back, meaning that millions of workers will need to find new jobs. Clearly, our workforce systems will need more resources to overcome the full scale of this crisis.” 

On May 1, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, which authorizes $15 billion in funding to help workers sharpen their skills and quickly re-enter the workforce as the economy emerges from the deepest decline since the Great Depression.


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