WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), who leads the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign in the Senate, praised President Obama’s memorandum to the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education on Thursday instructing them to conduct an across-the-board review of the nation’s job training programs. Vice President Biden will lead the effort. 

“Washington needs to do everything it can to invest in American workers,” Senator Coons said. “The government-wide review of job training programs announced by President Obama in the State of the Union and made official today is an important first step. The President and Vice President are doing their part to help American workers, but Congress needs to do its part. There are already a number of good bills in the Senate that could help American workers get the training they need for modern manufacturing jobs, like Senator Franken’s bill to strengthen ties between community colleges and local manufacturers, Senator Hagan’s bipartisan American Works Act, and Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan On the Job Training Act. The Senate HELP Committee passed the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act led by Senators Murray and Isakson with an overwhelming 18-3 vote in July. The President’s memo today is progress, and I hope Congress will work with him to make even more.”

The memorandum says that the Vice President must develop, within 180 days, a specific plan of action to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective by making programs more relevant, accessible, and accountable. More on this effort here: http://1.usa.gov/1flKC8r. The memorandum is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1aKQg5s

Since its debut in October, Manufacturing Jobs for America has grown to include 46 bills from 26 senators. Thirty of the bills have already been introduced — 14 with bipartisan support — around four principles: strengthening America’s 21st century workforce; opening markets abroad; creating the conditions necessary for growth; and expanding access to capital. 

More on Manufacturing Jobs for America can be found here: http://coons.senate.gov/manufacturing