Sen. Tina Smith Helps Introduce Legislation to Prepare Minnesota Students & Workers for High-Skill, In-Demand Jobs

U.S. Senator Tina Smith helped introduce legislation to tackle the nation’s “skills gap” by expanding partnerships that train students and workers for open, good-paying jobs in fields like manufacturing, health care, clean energy, and IT.

Based on successful models that already exist in Minnesota and across the country, the Community College to Career Fund Act (CC2C) would bring together technical colleges, community colleges, and local businesses to prepare people for jobs that are in high demand.

“My first official stop in Minnesota after becoming Senator was at Wyoming Machine, a local sheet metal fabricator that’s doing great things,” said Senator Smith, a member of the Senate Labor and Education Committee. “I wanted to go there because, like many businesses and manufacturers around Minnesota, Wyoming Machine wants to hire more people, but they’re having trouble finding workers with the right skills. This commonsense bill would address the ‘skills gap’ head-on by expanding something that we know works: job-training partnerships between two-year schools and local businesses.”

CC2C, which was introduced by Sens. Smith and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), would help reduce education costs for students, fill jobs, and increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy. The bill will create a competitive grant program to support more partnerships between two-year colleges and businesses. These partnerships will focus on valuable job training-related efforts, such as registered apprenticeships, on-the-job training opportunities, and paid internships for low-income students that allow them to simultaneously earn credit for work-based learning in a high-skill field.