Rep. George Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, has introduced H.R. 2721, the Pathways Back to Work Act. The bill would help low-income, unemployed workers find jobs or train for new ones.
The bill calls for a $12.5 billion fund to pay for various employment priorities, including $8 billion to provide subsidized employment for low-income, unemployed adults. More than $2 billion would be set aside for summer and year-round employment for low-income youth.
Miller, who represents California’s 11th Congressional District in Contra Costa County, is a long-time champion of job training and work force development legislation. He says the bill will help those who have been the most severely affected by the economic downturn.
His bill would fund competitive grants to local job training programs run by public-private partnerships, community organizations, labor unions and workforce development agencies. Allocations to states would be based on a formula targeting areas of substantial unemployment.
The bill has been referred to a House committee, but hearings haven’t yet been scheduled. A companion bill was expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate.