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U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh addresses students and leaders. (Submitted photo)
U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh addresses students and leaders. (Submitted photo)

During visit to Northland Workforce Training Center, Labor Secretary Walsh & Congressman Higgins discuss efforts to prepare workers for jobs of tomorrow


Mon, Dec 6th 2021 04:00 pm

Build Back Better Act invests in training & advances opportunities to connect workers & employers

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh joined Congressman Brian Higgins for a tour of the Northland Workforce Training Center during a visit to Western New York on Monday. Federal leaders met with students, teachers and administrators to discuss opportunities to prepare workers for the quality jobs of tomorrow.

“A major component of building back better is creating a skilled, resilient workforce for the 21st century economy,” Walsh said. “The Build Back Better Act provides the investments needed to offer quality job training opportunities and a roadmap to the middle class.”

Higgins said, “Employers are in need of a skilled workforce prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and Americans need access to good-paying jobs that lift up hardworking families. Investments, like those in the Build Back Better Act, create opportunities to fill existing workforce gaps in various fields through improved training, better pay and measures that support American business growth and success.”

The Build Back Better Act, supported by Higgins and approved by the House of Representatives in November, makes various investments in American workers, including $13.6 billion for workforce activities administered through the U.S. Department of Labor. Included is $5 billion through 2026 for grants to industry, sector partners and training providers, such as Northland Workforce Training Center, “to expand employment and training activities in high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand industry sectors and occupations.”

Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo, through partnerships between higher education institutions and local companies, provides skilled training for jobs in clean energy and advanced manufacturing fields. Northland was made possible thanks to several federal investments, including $14 million in New Markets Tax Credits, Community Development Block Grant funding, and one of the region’s largest recent federal Historic Tax Credit allocations – totaling over $13.5 million.

The Build Back Better Act also supports increased wages and training opportunities to address the direct care workforce shortage, makes investments in nursing home staffing, support an expanded Veteran Administration health care workforce, delivers grant programs to train new teachers and address shortages, provides $1 billion for registered, youth and pre-apprenticeships, reauthorizes the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program, prepares workers for good-paying jobs in positions that address the climate crisis, and supports clean technology investments protecting manufacturing jobs and America’s competitiveness.

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