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Ipswich, MA – Today, Congressman Seth Moulton announced the Championing Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in Technology (CHANCE in Tech) Act during a press conference at EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). Joining Moulton were senior executives from EBSCO, members of the Mass Technology Leadership Council, and representatives from area employers.
In 2016 alone, the technology sector contributed more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, employed more than seven million workers, and added more than 100,000 new jobs. Yet, nationally, during any given 90-day period, there can be more than 500,000 tech job openings. Businesses throughout the country agree that there simply are not enough qualified workers to fill these positions. This bipartisan bill seeks to address the growing skills gap in the technology sector through expanding and investing in tech apprenticeship programs.
“Our economy is changing, and we must prepare our current and future workforce for the jobs of the 21st Century,” said Moulton. “This bill will allow industries, academic institutions, vocational and technical schools, and workforce development programs across the country to form partnerships and train Americans for the new economy. I am proud to be joining my colleagues in leading this bipartisan effort to help American workers move our economy forward.”
“The U.S. is expected to have 1.8 million unfilled tech jobs by 2024. The deficit is not because of a lack of desire by American workers, but a dearth of workers with the necessary IT skills. If neglected, the IT skills gap will affect our country’s ability to protect national security interests and to compete economically on the global stage,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CompTIA’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy.“ “The CHANCE in Tech Act introduced today will address the growing IT talent challenge by encouraging public-private funding for apprenticeship programs in the technology sector and providing students with the necessary skills to compete in the 21st Century workforce.”
CHANCE in Tech co-authors include Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Mia Love (R-UT). Companion legislation was also introduced today in the senate by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Cory Gardner (R-CO).
“It’s critical that residents in Southwest Washington receive the skill training and education they need to fill open job positions right here. Our tech industry is strong — yet the employers I meet with are struggling to find qualified candidates,” said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler. “This bill seeks to alleviate some of the pressure employers face in hiring these skilled jobs. It also gives workers quality, on-the-job training; a very marketable skill set and hopefully a good-paying job.”
“Technology jobs can provide a solid path to the middle class for folks around the country, and there are a variety of pathways into tech professions,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer. “In this rapidly changing economy, our bipartisan bill makes sure that apprenticeships equip folks with the training and know-how to fill open positions today and equip them with the skills they’ll need for the jobs of tomorrow.”
“I see so many opportunities at Tech companies in Utah, and I want young people to get the skills they need to get a good paying job,” said Congresswoman Mia Love. “This is simply preparing our workers for the 21st Century economy.”
“As the technology sector begins to play an even larger role in our economy, it’s important our workforce has the necessary skills and training to perform these jobs,” said Senator Cory Gardner. “The technology industry currently faces a workforce shortage and Congress must work together to address this problem. This bipartisan legislation is an innovative solution to address the workforce shortage and will result in more Coloradans and Americans across the country receiving the proper training to enter the technology industry. The next 100 years will be defined by our ability to compete in the technology sector and the CHANCE in Tech Act will help the United States remain the global leader in technological developments.”
“As the technology sector continues to grow in New Mexico and across the country, we need to ensure that our students have the skills they need to compete for these high-paying jobs,” said Senator Heinrich. “By encouraging apprenticeship programs for the tech sector, we can continue to strengthen the STEM pipeline and help New Mexico develop its vibrant technology economy. This bill will connect students, training programs, and community colleges in New Mexico to the growing tech sector where jobs are opening up every day, and create a more prosperous future for our state.”
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