The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 27, 2013

Workforce dollars under discussion

By Scott Levine
Associate Editor

CLINTON — U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack sat down with community members Tuesday to discuss a bill that would provide more money to aid in educating the workforce.

Economic leaders and Clinton Community College officials sat down with Loebsack and examined the SECTORS Act, a bill that’s being proposed by Loebsack in the U.S. House of Representatives. The SECTORS Act supports “sector” or “industry partnerships” that allow businesses, unions, educators and the public workforce development system to develop and implement plans that help workers train for and advance in high-demand and emerging industries.

The act includes grants that would allow communities to address training needs of multiple employers.

Rich Phelan, of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation, said more training would help the region’s profile when attempting to land new businesses, like the recent announcement of two new employers intending to building in the Lincolnway Railport.

“Oftentimes, employers cannot find workers with the skills needed,” Loebsack said. “This would match workers with employers and help communities.”

Loebsack agreed that it would face challenges for passage since it would require approval from a Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate.  

The SECTORS Act started in the Senate in 2008, and was introduced by Loebsack in the House in 2009. It won approval from the House in 2010.

Loebsack re-introduced the bill in late February this year.