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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017
Workforce Development Legislation Introduced by Senator Bolz
Lincoln, NE: State Senator Kate Bolz introduced a package of bills today promoting workforce development for Nebraska. The bills address job quality, career education, access to child care, and retention of trained workers.
The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce reports that a survey of Nebraska’s business leaders found that eight in ten respondents said their community or business faced a workforce shortage, with skilled labor being highest in demand. A report commissioned by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development entitled “Nebraska’s Next Economy” outlined workforce challenges slowing our economy including statewide workforce shortages, acute workforce shortages in higher skilled occupations, and failure to integrate underserved populations into the worker pipeline, among others.
“Workforce development is the number one priority for economic growth in Nebraska,” states Bolz, “This package of bills represents a vision for investing in our workers, job quality, and career education and training to grow Nebraska and compete successfully in a global economy, using one of our states greatest assets, our people.”
The bills include:
A comprehensive bill investing $15 million dollars per year in career education and training, internship programs, student loan tax credits, and child care tax credits.
A bill to develop and fund the Integrated Education and Training Grant Program to fund efforts in community colleges to develop fast track career education programs that integrate developmental education and workforce preparation and training.
A bill defining job quality in Nebraska economic development programs as jobs paying 150% of the Nebraska average weekly wage and providing health care benefits.
A bill to expand the existing GAP tuition assistance program, which covers the educational costs of low-income students enrolling in programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and in-demand jobs, to include more eligible educational programs.
A bill to increase the value of the child care tax credit for working families.