Jan 03 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $3,150,000 in federal funds for a new Apprentice Academy at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Prince George County, Virginia. This Apprentice Academy will train workers for highly skilled jobs in the growing advanced manufacturing industries of the region.
“We are thrilled to announce funding for this advanced manufacturing center in Prince George County that will provide a boost for the region’s growing economy,” the Senators said. “Manufacturers all over the Commonwealth have told us one of their biggest struggles is filling jobs with skilled workers. Apprenticeship programs like this will help build the necessary skilled workforce of the future.”
The project will expand an existing building to make room for classroom space, administrative space, and a training area.
Warner and Kaine have been advocates for new investments in job training that help better prepare the workforce for a changing 21st century economy. In October, Warner, a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, introduced legislation to reward employers for providing their workers with skills training to better adapt to new demands in talent. Warner has also pushed for innovative support for the growing independent workforce, introducing legislation to test-drive portable benefits models that would provide an economic safety net for Americans engaged in temporary, contract, or on-demand work.
Kaine, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, has been a leader in the Senate on efforts to support skills training programs to prepare workers for good-paying, in-demand jobs. In September, Kaine introduced, and Warner cosponsored, the bipartisan Middle School Technical Education Program (Middle STEP) Act to address workforce shortages through a middle school career exploration program. In July, Kaine introduced the Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills (BUILDS) Act to ensure that workers are prepared with the skills needed for jobs in fields like construction, transportation and energy that would be created by a major investment in infrastructure. Last January, Kaine introduced the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act to help workers access Pell Grants for high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs.
This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposed to eliminate funding for the Economic Development Administration. Warner and Kaine wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that this proposal be overruled.