Press Releases

Larsen Introduces Bill for Online Workforce Training

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today introduced legislation to fill a critical gap in workforce training opportunities through online workforce training grants.

“U.S. workers are no longer competing with folks from down the street, but with people around the world to develop and produce the best products and services at the best value. Congress needs to invest in better preparing the U.S. workforce for the global economy,” said Larsen. “The Online Job Training Act complements existing workforce training options and will allow folks who may not have the opportunity to access in person training resources, like working parents and those with limited transportation access, to re-enter the workforce. This is good for Washington state jobs and local economies across the U.S.” 

The Online Job Training Act would amend the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act by adding an online workforce training grant program. The program would provide $50 million in National Online Workforce Training Grants available in Fiscal Years 2019-2029.

The ability to train people online is critical as the future of work continues to evolve. According to the World Economic Forum, technology changes, including artificial intelligence and robotics, learning evolution and talent mobility are the key factors that will impact the future of work.

“This legislation will help folks further their digital knowledge in an age where more and more jobs require computer and technical skills,” said Larsen.

Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to eligible federal, state, local, tribal and private entities. These include educational institutions, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, state or local governments which provide online workforce training.

You can read the full bill here.