During a visit to the Northland Workforce Training Center, Secretary of Labor Walsh and Congressman Higgins discuss efforts to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh addresses students and leaders. (Photo submitted)

Mon 6 Dec 2021 4:00 p.m.

Build Back Better Act invests in training and advances opportunities to connect workers and employers

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined Congressman Brian Higgins for a tour of the Northland Workforce Training Center during a visit to western New York on Monday. Federal leaders met with students, teachers and administrators to discuss opportunities to prepare workers for the quality jobs of tomorrow.

“A major part of building back better is creating a skilled and resilient workforce for the 21st century economy,” said Walsh. “The Build Back Better Act provides for the investments necessary to provide quality vocational training opportunities and a roadmap to the middle class. “

Higgins said, “Employers need a skilled workforce prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and Americans need access to well-paying jobs that raise working families. hard. Investments, like those in the Build Back Better Act, create opportunities to address existing labor shortages in various fields through improved training, better wages, and measures that support business growth and success. American.

The Build Back Better Act, backed by Higgins and approved by the House of Representatives in November, provides for various investments in American workers, including $ 13.6 billion for workforce activities administered by the United States Department of Labor. . Includes $ 5 billion through 2026 for grants to industry, sector partners and training providers, such as the Northland Workforce Training Center, “to expand employment and training activities across sectors and highly skilled occupations, with high wages or in demand “.

The Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo, through partnerships between higher education institutions and local businesses, provides skilled training for jobs in clean energy and advanced manufacturing. Northland was made possible by several federal investments, including $ 14 million in new market tax credits, block grant funding for community development, and one of the largest federal tax credit allocations in history. in the region, totaling more than $ 13.5 million.

The Build Back Better Act also supports increased wages and training opportunities to address the direct care workforce shortage, invests in nursing home staff, supports a workforce Veterans Administration Expanded Health Care Grant Programs, Provides Grant Programs to Train New Teachers and Address Shortages, Provides $ 1 Billion for Enrollers, Youth and Pre-Apprenticeships, Re-authorizes Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program , prepares workers for well-paying jobs in positions that respond to the climate crisis and supports investments in clean technologies protecting manufacturing jobs and America’s competitiveness.

Milton S. Rodgers