Thompson, Langevin Introduce Legislation to Boost Transportation Workforce Training
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, today introduced the Transportation Workforce Centers of Excellence Act to boost transportation workforce training opportunities offered at community and technical colleges across the nation. The bill will provide $50 million in competitive grants to strengthen education and training programs in targeted industries. Grants will be disbursed to Centers of Excellence in Transportation Workforce Training, which will consist of consortia of high-performing two-year colleges.
“A highly skilled workforce is necessary to revitalize our national transportation system,” said Thompson. “With more than six million open jobs, the demand for qualified workers is greater than ever. This bill will help us meet infrastructure demands, close our nation’s skills gap, and reward schools who have gone above and beyond by establishing Centers of Excellence.”
“Community and technical colleges like the Community College of Rhode Island, play a vital role in developing a high-skilled transportation workforce,” said Langevin. “Investing in these institutions and their educational offerings related to high-demand industries is a direct investment in the future of our nation. We must support these programs now to close the workforce gap and rebuild our national infrastructure.”
The bill authorizes investments to develop career pathways that lead to credentials in transportation-related industries that could range from manufacturing to operation, design and engineering of infrastructure. The legislation prioritizes providing on-the-job training and work-based learning, developing dual enrollment programs to train high school students, promoting training related to new technologies and outreach and career counseling to increase participation in the transportation sector. It also promotes partnership and collaboration among employers, state agencies, and other community partners to address training needs.
In May 2019, Congressmen Thompson and Langevin sent a letter - signed by a bipartisan coalition of 49 of their fellow members - to House leadership and leaders on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urging them to include workforce development investments in future infrastructure legislation.