Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today joined a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to introduce the “America COMPETES Act,” a bill he said is critical to enhancing American competitiveness and ensuring that America’s workers have the knowledge and skills to be successful in the 21st century global economy. “In this global economy, learning is never over; school is never out,” Enzi said. “If our students and workers are to have the best chance to succeed in life and our employers are to maintain their global competitive edge, we must ensure that every American has a lifetime of opportunities to achieve academically and obtain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.” The “America COMPETES Act” is a bipartisan legislative response to recommendations contained in the National Academies’ “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report and the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative. The bill also contains input from members of three Senate committees, including key proposals from the Senate Commerce and Senate Energy Committees. “This bill is a good starting point to support and encourage students to take challenging courses and prepare for and enter high-skill fields such as math, science, engineering, health, technology and critical foreign languages,” Enzi added. “The America COMPETES Act will open the door for many students and workers to enter and succeed in the cutting-edge fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” The bill focuses on maintaining and improving United States’ innovation in the 21st Century by increasing research investment, strengthening educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from elementary through graduate school, and developing an innovation infrastructure. “I commend my colleagues for their efforts in bringing this vital legislation to the forefront of the debate on America’s long-term competitiveness,” Enzi said. “Like me, they understand that the availability of seamless lifelong education opportunities, through legislation like this bill, the Higher Education Act, and the Workforce Investment Act, is critical for our long-term competitiveness. I look forward to working to pass each of these important bills this year.” ####

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