Sen. Stabenow Introduces Federal Bill to Help 'Skills Gap'

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Force By Design has had an office in East Lansing for two years and each time a new employee is hired, the company faces the same dilemma with training.

"It will typically take a year, year and a half of ramp time to get them up t o speed with the skill sets they need to perform," said Bret Holling, with Force By Design.

It's known as the 'skills gap' and its faced by companies in Michigan and across the US, who have around 600,000 unfilled positions.

As Sen. Debbie Stabenow told Lansing Community College, Wednesday, she is looking to change that with a new federally-funded bill called the 'New Jobs for New Skills Act'. The legislation would springboard off of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, which currently allows community colleges to give training for new created jobs.

The training, paid for by the employee's state income tax has helped fill 10,000 positions across the state.

"The 'New Skills for New Jobs Act' would build on that by saying the money that is reimbursed through the community college would be matched by federal contribution as well," said Sen. Stabenow (D-Michigan).

It would help local partnerships with LCC, who is currently training nearly 2,000 GM workers at the Delta Township and Grand River Plants.

With federal help, the college plans to include training for 170 positions in Linux support systems and security at Liquid Web and 40 cloud-computing jobs at Force By Design, among others.

"LCC has many technical programs and this kind of effort supports them," said LCC President, Dr. Brent Knight.

The first years of the program are expected to cost the federal government between $150-200 million a year.

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