This week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held two field hearings in Pennsylvania and New York entitled, “Reviving our Economy: The Role of Higher Education in Job Growth and Development.” At these hearings, the Committee heard from representatives from local schools and colleges about the education and workforce needs in their communities and their ability to prepare graduates for the local economy.
At the hearing in Wilkes-Barre, PA, several witnesses cited the need for increased funding for education and job training programs, community colleges and Pell grants that help students get the preparation they need for jobs at a time when demand for these programs is increasing.
One of the witnesses at the hearing in Utica, NY asked in his written testimony, “… with understandably limited resources, how does a medium-sized community such as ours embark on the capacity building it needs to do in order to develop a workforce development education and training infrastructure that keeps pace with the needs of the future? As our economy is requiring higher and higher skills, the capacity of our systems to deliver those skills must continue to grow.” This is a question that communities of every size across the country are asking at this critical time. Let’s hope Congress is listening.