On July 19th, the House passed the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success Act, or SECTORS Act (H.R. 1855) to help address local skills shortages. The bill will help promote ‘sector strategies', which drive industry growth and competitiveness by aligning training and education with actual local employers' needs.
Specifically, the SECTORS Act establishes a grant program administered by the Department of Labor to provide designated funding for eligible partnerships in order to coordinate workforce activities between specific industries and educational institutions. Eligible partnerships could receive up to $2.5 million in grants for the first three years and up to an additional $1.5 million thereafter.
By bringing employers in key industries together with education, labor, workforce, and other groups, new industry partnerships will be identified and workers will benefit from training tailored to meet the sector needs of that region's economy.
More than 200 local and state business, labor, workforce and education groups support H.R. 1855, including the National Skills Alliance, National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, National Council on Aging, Women Work!, the National Network for Women's Employment, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, the Center of Industry and Technology, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, Business Council of New York State, the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, and the Illinois Manufacturing Foundation.