Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Members Introduce Tech Legislation to Address Workforce Shortage
Washington, D.C. – Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), along with Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-6) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3), today reintroduced the Championing Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in Technology (CHANCE in Tech) Act. The bipartisan legislation would provide industry intermediaries, like state tech associations, the ability to receive federal grants to develop apprenticeships within the technology sector. It also works to alleviate the skills gap that may slow the continued growth of the technology sector.
Now more than ever before, the U.S. economy is dependent on the technology industry to create jobs and expand economic growth. According to CompTIA, in 2017 alone, the technology sector contributed more than $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy, employed more than 11.5 million workers, and added more than 200,000 new jobs. And Colorado is among the top five states for the concentration of technology workers relative to our overall statewide employment. Despite these impressive numbers, nationally, during any given 90-day period, there can be more than 500,000 tech job openings.
“As the technology sector begins to play an even larger role in our economy, it’s important our workforce has the necessary skills and training to perform these jobs,” said Senator Gardner. “The technology industry currently faces a workforce shortage and Congress must work together to address this problem. This bipartisan legislation is an innovative solution to address the workforce shortage and will result in more Coloradans and Americans across the country receiving the proper training to enter the technology industry. The next 100 years will be defined by our ability to compete in the technology sector and the CHANCE in Tech Act will help the United States remain the global leader in technological developments.”
“As the technology sector continues to grow in New Mexico and across the country, we need to ensure that our students have the skills they need to compete for these high-paying jobs,” said Senator Heinrich. “By encouraging apprenticeship programs for the tech sector, we can continue to strengthen the STEM pipeline and help New Mexico develop its vibrant technology economy. This bill will connect students, training programs, and community colleges in New Mexico to the growing tech sector where jobs are opening up every day, and create a more prosperous future for our state.”
“Graduates want high quality jobs, and growing technology companies want skilled employees - the CHANCE in Tech Act provides an opportunity to bridge this gap,” said Senator Markey. “The expanding technology sector offers opportunities for good 21st century jobs, and partnerships between employers and schools will ensure that students graduate with the skills and experiences they need to be qualified for such jobs. This bill has great potential to increase employment and advance technological initiatives across the country.”
“Nearly every conversation I have with business owners across Kansas leads to a discussion about their need for workers who are trained and motivated to take tech-related jobs,” said Senator Moran. “This bipartisan legislation will help give industry leaders the resources they need to create tech apprenticeships, attract talent and connect American workers with meaningful, good-paying jobs.”
“Our economy and the types of jobs Americans do are changing fast, but Congress is moving slowly to prepare the country for those changes. Let’s pass the CHANCE in Tech Act so workers have an easier time learning the skills they need to land one of the hundreds of thousands of open, great-paying technology jobs currently available across the country,” said Rep. Moulton.
“As the tech industry continues to grow in Southwest Washington, the need is paramount for skilled workers to fill open positions and fuel innovation,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in offering a bipartisan solution that helps both employers and job-seekers by allowing tech employers to partner with local schools and training programs to expand apprenticeships. Our economy benefits when we equip workers with quality on-the-job skills training that will help them succeed in high-paying career fields.”