Legislation Would Help Businesses and Job Seekers through Successful Workforce Development Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) this week joined U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in introducing bipartisan legislation to increase on-the-job training opportunities for workers to find new jobs and update their skills.

The On-the-Job Training Act of 2015 (S.1328) authorizes the Department of Labor to award competitive grants to establish and support local on-the-job or OTJ programs that effectively help people attain skills needed to find and keep jobs.

“In times of economic uncertainty, we should focus on programs with a proven track record of helping businesses and creating jobs. On-the-job training programs work. They connect employers with future employees and ensure that they have the skills needed for career advancement in many fields,” Cochran said. “I’m pleased to join with Senator Shaheen to promote this important, bipartisan legislation.”

“This legislation is about getting Americans back to work with the skills they need in today’s economy,” said Shaheen. “On-the-job training programs are a highly effective way to boost local economies and help the long-term unemployed get their careers back on-track. These programs have been a success in New Hampshire and across the country and this legislation would expand them to keep America’s workforce competitive.”

The Shaheen-Cochran legislation, which is supported by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, would authorize the U.S. Department of Labor to award capacity-building grants to expand and strengthen state and local OTJ training programs. These successful programs involve a willing employer signing a contract with the local workforce investment board (WIB). The employer then hires workers that need training, and the WIB provides a training subsidy to the employer.

OTJ programs had the best results of all training programs authorized in the Workforce Investment Act, which was recently reauthorized. In 2013, 88 percent of OTJ participants were still employed at their training sites or in other jobs three months after having finished the program, and 79 percent were still employed one year later.

Thad Cochran Press Release