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Congressman Richard Neal

Representing the 1st District of Massachusetts


Neal Introduces Legislation to Improve Parents’ Access to Good Jobs

May 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced legislation that would invest in career pathways for parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) so that more workers can gain the skills they need for good jobs in today’s market and the economy of tomorrow. The Improving Access to Good Jobs for Parents Act (H.R. 5888) uses formula and innovation grants to fund workforce development collaborations and would empower workers who are struggling to gain economic security, many of whom have not finished high school, have little work experience, or have other barriers to employment.

“Americans want to work, and they’re eager to learn new skills that will allow them to find good jobs and support their families,” said Rep. Neal. “This legislation makes targeted investments to provide parents with opportunities to receive training that matches local workforce needs. Injecting more highly-trained workers into the economy would help bridge the skills gap and strengthen families. This bill is a win for employers who are looking for qualified workers, and a win for parents and their kids’ futures.”

The Improving Access to Good Jobs for Parents Act (H.R. 5888) calls for $900 million of formula grants to invest in collaborations among TANF, workforce development agencies, and other local partners such as community colleges, businesses, labor unions, adult education providers, and career and technical education schools that have agreed to work together to provide the training and support parents need to get good jobs. The bill would require states to provide sufficient research to back up how their plans would achieve results, and it would hold states accountable by requiring reports on their effectiveness at addressing barrier removal, rehabilitation, and job readiness skills needed to enter work or career and technical schools.

The bill also calls for $100 million of innovation grants that would be awarded competitively to public or nonprofit organizations to test innovative, collaborative workforce development strategies and evaluate their effectiveness. This investment would simultaneously provide opportunities for workers and help develop a larger set of research-tested tools for developing the workers of the future.

The National Skills Coalition, Jobs for the Future (JFF), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) have endorsed the legislation.

Ways & Means Committee members Reps. Sandy Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John Larson (D-CT), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and Judy Chu (D-CA) are co-sponsors of the bill.

Full text of the legislation is available HERE.

A section-by-section summary of the bill is available HERE.