Fact Sheets and Materials

Letter: Time to tackle workforce development, job training

March 16, 2017

For the Monitor

With backgrounds as a manager of a family-owned chain of auto parts stores and as a legal aid lawyer helping unemployed workers, we both recognize the value of a good job and a skilled workforce.

Last month, there were close to 20,000 job openings in New Hampshire. New Hampshire businesses cannot find the skilled workers to fill the positions. To attract and retain the workers we need, we must move forward on issues from family and medical leave insurance, to child care and housing affordability, to workforce development and job training. Today, the Senate has an opportunity to endorse Senate Bill 227, a bipartisan bill bolstering workforce development and job training.

Senate Bill 227 targets in-demand employment by skilling-up underemployed or unemployed workers, meeting employer needs in a flexible and timely way. While emphasizing manufacturing, health care, hospitality and information technology, it bolsters certificate programming and occupational skills training for all in-demand employment. It creates more options and opportunities for graduating Granite State high school seniors, as not everyone wants to go to college and not every business can wait two or four years to fill open positions. It also coordinates and streamlines our workforce initiatives as well as markets and partners with the private sector. Finally, it includes outreach and support for higher than average unemployed populations, including folks who are on a second or third career and persons in substance use recovery programs. Everyone deserves the opportunity for a good job and every business ought to have a pool of skilled workers available, right now.

SB 227 couldn’t come at a better time. It is essential to expanding opportunity for everyone. With SB 227, New Hampshire can begin to really tackle workforce development and job training. Our economy depends on it.

BOBBY SEGAL and DAN FELTES

Concord

(Segal serves as the CEO of Sanel Auto Parts. Feltes is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 227 and serves in the state Senate representing Concord, Penacook, Hopkinton, Henniker and Warner.)