Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) introduced the Enabling Online and Virtual Workforce Training Act, to provide flexible training and upskilling opportunities to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation would temporarily allow states or local workforce boards to expedite approvals for qualified training providers to offer their workforce development programs online. These programs lead to recognized, postsecondary credentials. The bill also seeks to eliminate barriers to accessing virtual workforce programs in states where providers are required to maintain a brick and mortar presence in the state. These requirements make most online training providers ineligible to offer their programming.
“With millions of hardworking Americans out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that Congress provide flexible opportunities for individuals to learn new skills and gain credentials to help them return to the workplace. As the pandemic continues to create uncertainty about when our communities will fully reopen, many American families are struggling to reenter the workforce because they lack adequate childcare. Online workforce training programs will allow out-of-work individuals to learn in-demand skills without leaving their homes. This legislation will eliminate barriers arbitrarily limiting opportunities for workers to improve themselves,” said Smucker.
“As our nation continues to safely return to work a highly-skilled workforce remains central to the strength of economy as it begins to recover. I am hopeful my colleagues in Congress will agree with this commonsense legislation.”