Texas Reps Introduce Major Job Training Initiative
On Thursday, Representatives Gene Green (D-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), and Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2923, the Maritime and Energy Workforce Technical Training Enhancement Act, which would create two new grant programs through the Department of Energy (DOE) to help train workers in the maritime and energy sectors.
The first grant program establishes a maritime and energy technical training grant that provides financial support for workforce training at community colleges and four-year universities in these two fields. The second program would allow for the establishment up to 10 Centers of Excellence around the country that would focus on expanding workforce training opportunities and assist with job placement.
â€œIn our District, we have a surplus of maritime and energy jobs, and not enough people with the skills and training to fill them,â€ Green said. â€œIndustry is continuing to invest and grow along the Port of Houston, and we want to make sure that our constituents have the opportunity to take these high skilled jobs. This bipartisan legislation will help bridge the gap. Itâ€™s good for our local community, itâ€™s good for our businesses, and itâ€™s good for the American economy.â€
Olson said, â€œThe Houston region is home to the Port and the thousands of maritime jobs looking to be filled, this bill provides an important opportunity to help match our economic needs with well-trained employees. Our local colleges are filling an important need with training programs and this bill will help that process. Itâ€™s been great to work with my Houston colleagues to strengthen our workforce and by extension our economy.â€
â€œOur areaâ€™s economic livelihood depends on the maritime industry,â€ said Babin. â€œItâ€™s critical that our students have access to the resources and training they need to meet the needs of these high-skilled jobs. We have excellent institutions ready to provide and expand on this valuable training. This important bill will grow and strengthen these opportunities to help ensure our students are properly prepared to work in our areaâ€™s leading maritime industry.â€
H.R. 2923 has two other original cosponsors, Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Reid Ribble (R-WI).