WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) unveiled the American Manufacturing Jobs for Students Act (H.R. 4815), legislation intended to provide career education and counseling about local manufacturing jobs for middle and high school students.
“We need to provide the resources to help connect students with 21st century careers at businesses here in Ventura County,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “This bill is an important first step toward ensuring that students know more about job opportunities close to home.”
The bill was unveiled Wednesday as part of a comprehensive package of Make It In America legislation led by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) designed to strengthen America’s businesses.
“Rep. Julia Brownley understands that a strong middle class begins with good manufacturing jobs that pay well and lead to opportunities. That’s why she has been playing a leading role in the Make It In America jobs plan by introducing legislation that will encourage secondary school teachers and guidance counselors to connect students with career information and internship opportunities with local manufacturers. I have been honored to work with her on promoting this jobs plan, and I have seen firsthand the dedication with which she serves California families every day,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer.
Local business leaders also shared their support for the measure:
- “Sparking the interest and inspiration of students in a manner that positively affects their educational choices – especially in the middle and high school years – is a task yet to be accomplished and the American Manufacturing Jobs for Students Act proactively addresses this issue head-on. Manufacturers believe that authentic exposure to local industry is a crucial element to this process of personal inspiration, and the American Manufacturing Jobs for Students Act directly supports the process in a manner that is innovative, realistic, and long overdue,” said William Pratt, Vice President of Operations and Director of Creative Design at Kinamed, Inc. in Camarillo.
- “Manufacturing is big in Ventura County and key to the long-term economic vitality of our region and many others in the nation. It also pays the highest average wages among industry sectors, yet these employers are having trouble finding qualified workers. Helping young people become acquainted with manufacturing careers is an important strategy to ensure we have a qualified workforce for this sector, and offers young people a fulfilling career that pays well,” said Bruce Stenslie, President of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County.
- “In the U.S. alone, more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers, yet manufacturing is a very promising industry that is vital to the U.S. and global economy. It offers high-paying, clean technology careers. Efforts to help grow a local, qualified workforce are a win-win for young people seeking career paths, and local manufacturers who need qualified workers,” said Kathy Looman, Administrator of the Gene Haas Foundation.
Under current law, the Department of Education provides grants to elementary and secondary schools for student counseling services. The American Manufacturing Jobs for Students would encourage schools to provide career education about local manufacturing jobs and would support student engagement and professional relationships with local businesses through workplace visits and hands-on learning experiences.
The text of the bill is attached.