05.20.08

Enzi: "Warn Act" Expansion Would Do LIttle to Help Displaced Workers Urges Congress to Enhance Workforce Training Programs to Prepare Workers for High Demand, High Wage Jobs

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), today saidthat Congress could better serve workers who lose their jobs through plant closures byreauthorizing critical workforce training programs, rather than by mandating an expandednotice of a closing. “Simply giving workers a few extra weeks notice that they are going to lose theirjobs would do very little, if anything, to help prepare them for their next careers,” Enzisaid. “We need to stop tinkering around the edges and really get to work to helpAmerica’s workers get the knowledge and skills they need to prepare them for the highskill, high demand, and high wage jobs of the 21st Century.” In prepared remarks for today’s HELP Committee hearing, “Plant Closings,Workers’ Rights and the WARN Act’s 20th Anniversary,” Enzi said that the Democrats’proposal to expand the notification provisions of the Worker Adjustment and RetrainingNotification (WARN) Act would do little to help workers prepare for new employment,as it would not provide any funding or provisions for any actual worker training or retrainingprograms. “Job training is important both to provide a skilled workforce to avoid plantclosings, and to assist workers who lose their jobs,” Enzi said. “The Democrat proposalto expand the WARN Act would do nothing to enhance these goals of workforcetraining.” Enzi urged Senate leadership to take up reauthorization of the WorkforceInvestment Act (WIA), to provide America’s workforce with a lifetime of job trainingand re-training opportunities. “By some estimates, nearly 4 out of every 5 new jobs being created will requiresome education or training beyond high school,” Enzi said. “Congress must renew andimprove the Workforce Investment Act to ensure that Americans have the knowledge andskills to fill those jobs and succeed in the workplace. It is past time for the Senate to getserious about workforce development and take action on this important legislation.” ####

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