The National Tooling and Machining Association and the Precision
Metalforming Association, together known as "One Voice," today applaud
President Obama's signing of the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803).
The bipartisan bill, which passed both the House and the Senate by wide
margins, updates the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and covers dozens
of job training programs. The legislation, "WIOA," is part of ongoing
efforts to close the skills gap in the U.S. manufacturing sector and
enable employers to find and hire workers with the skills needed for
competitiveness in modern manufacturing.
The bill's provisions, among others, eliminate outdated programs;
provide accountability and data reporting requirements; require
implementation of industry or sector partnerships and career pathway
strategies and, increase the ability to use on-the-job training
(reimbursement rates up to 75%) and incumbent worker training (may use
up to 20% of local funds).
Importantly, the bill also prioritizes the use of industry-recognized
standards and credentials. This inclusion is especially significant for
One Voice as NTMA and PMA are among the founders of the National
Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and remain active in setting
the bar for skills standards in the metalworking industry.
According to a recent One Voice survey, nearly 75% of members in both
NTMA and PMA have job openings in manufacturing plants, and 80% report
that they are having challenges recruiting qualified employees.
"The skills gap is a pressing challenge that has caused many U.S.
manufacturers to have serious shortages of qualified potential
employees," said NTMA President Dave Tilstone. "Our members have seen
this problem first-hand and we are hopeful that this new legislation
will help with recruitment and retention for our sector which is vitally
important to the American economy."
NTMA and PMA have been leaders in pressing Congress to reform the
outdated federal workforce system and strongly
supported WIOA. Both organizations sponsor activities to attract
students and new workers to manufacturing including NTMA's
National Robotics League and NTMA-U
Women in Manufacturing.
"The good news is that the U.S. manufacturing sector is only expanding,"
said PMA President Bill Gaskin. "We are pleased that our voices have
been heard and our government is taking this important step to support
our members and the manufacturing industry as a whole."
About One Voice: The National Tooling and Machining
Association's (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association's (PMA)
combined "One Voice" federal government advocacy program represents
nearly 3,000 metalworking companies and is designed to promote U.S.
government policies that will ensure a strong manufacturing sector in
the United States. For additional information, please visit www.metalworkingadvocate.org.
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