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Statement From U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker On Job-Driven Training For Workers

Friday, January 31, 2014

Today, President Obama signed a federal employer commitment addressing the issue of long-term unemployment. This commitment follows the Presidential memorandum for the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Education regarding job-driven training for workers.
“As a business leader for 27 years, I know firsthand that the talent of our workers is the fundamental ingredient of a prosperous and dynamic America. Building a strong and skilled workforce has always been a personal passion for me, and I commend President Obama for recognizing the need to reassess how the federal government is investing in workforce training.
Before I became Commerce Secretary, I helped launch Skills for America’s Future, a national employer-led initiative, and Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a local intermediary in Chicago focused on the long-term unemployed. These two public-private partnerships align employer needs with training to prepare our workers for positions that are available now, and set them on a real career path.

I witnessed how successful collaboration among the business community, local government, community colleges, training institutions and the unemployed can shrink the skills gap and stimulate the economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

“Millions of Americans remain underemployed or unemployed despite there being 4 million open jobs in this country, which is why I have made skills a major focus, a first for the Commerce Department. Ensuring we have a talented and skilled workforce is a major pillar of the Department’s ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ and I will do my part as Commerce Secretary to ensure that we give workers all the tools and training they need to make them competitive in a global marketplace.
I look forward to working with the President, Vice President, Labor Secretary Perez and Education Secretary Duncan to find concrete, collaborative solutions to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated and effective.”