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Senator Hassan Joins in Introducing Legislation to Expand Workforce, Boost Economic Growth in the Granite State

WASHINGTON  – Senator Maggie Hassan joined colleagues yesterday in introducing the Invest in America Act, legislation that will create competitive grant programs to expand the workforce, modernize training tools, and promote job creation. Senator Hassan introduced the bill with Senators Angus King (I-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

Organizations that wish to apply for these grants would first apply for a planning grant to help prepare an Invest in America plan that identifies industries and occupations to be targeted as part of the implementation phase of a project. Planning grant recipients would then apply for an implementation grant to put their Invest in America plan into action to support targeted economic expansion and resilience, job creation, and associated workforce development and re-employment opportunities.

“Everywhere I go in New Hampshire, I continue to hear from our innovative businesses about the need for more workers with the tools and thinking necessary for success in the 21st century economy,” Senator Hassan said. “The Invest in America Act would encourage long-term job creation and boost economic growth in the Granite State by investing in workforce development in industries and communities that need it the most.”

“The Invest in America Act can be a valuable resource to support workforce and economic development in rural areas, where earnings and educational attainment levels lag metro areas,” said Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire. “This effort aligns with the statewide mission of NH’s community colleges to provide opportunities for economic advancement that are accessible to all New Hampshire residents.”              

Specifically, the Invest in America Act will: 

  • Target assistance to rural high-need communities. Grant amounts will be determined according to factors including long-term economic growth rates, prevalence of skill mismatches between employers and potential employees, long-term unemployment and underemployment, poverty and persistent poverty rates, and the number and percent of workers and employers impacted by economic shifts related to trade, regulation, or technological change.
  • Award Grants to local or regional economic development agencies, local workforce development boards, Native American tribes, career and technical education centers, and postsecondary educational institutions. These grants will support economic and workforce development initiatives such as: career and technical education, broadband access, support systems (e.g., drug treatment, child care) for members of low-income families seeking employment, business incubators, transitional jobs for low-income workers, and adult education with occupational training. 
  • Monitor results of the grants to maximize benefits.

Senator Hassan has been a leader in expanding economic opportunity and encouraging innovation in the Granite State and across the country. Senator Hassan helped craft and advance the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act, which the President signed into law earlier this year. This bipartisan legislation requires states and local programs to collaborate with the business community and workforce development organizations so that education programs will better meet the needs of innovative businesses. This month, the Senator also voted to approve the final version of a bipartisan funding bill for fiscal year 2019 that invests in critical New Hampshire priorities, including investing in CTE state grants and apprenticeship opportunities.