Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: May 17, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, this is just one of the things that the Caucus and the Congress have been doing to help make the economy improve and help people deal with problems that COVID has caused us, supply chain and all, which has slowed down the opportunity to get products, and also causes inflation, but having the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to get people training, get them career services, get skills to perform jobs is so important.

I think it was Mr. Courtney who mentioned how many more openings we have than people to fill the jobs right now. I went to Walgreens the other day and thought I got there early to get the drive-in, and they said: ``We don't have enough employees to have the drive-in open this morning.''

Everywhere you go, there is need for work, so we need to train people so they can fill the jobs that are made available.

I am proud to vote for this bill, reauthorizing the program, which, unfortunately, expired in 2020. This would put us back on track and invest $78 billion over 6 years and retrain millions of workers per year by 2028.

Memphis is a proud working-class city, and we must prepare our workforce and our community for the 21st century and for the jobs right now. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will ensure that critical resources are provided for essential institutions like our Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center in Whitehaven.

This transformational work should involve all of our local leaders and resources to ensure our programs and solutions are relevant and useful to our community. I offered an amendment, which was accepted, and I appreciate that. It will help ensure the subject matter experts in local agencies, local educators, and community leaders can be included as part of the workforce development boards. We look out for each other in Memphis, and we want to see us move forward in the 21st century.

Madam Speaker, I encourage everybody to vote for this bill.