With the benefits of rightsized regulatory reforms and now the family tax cuts and restructuring of our tax system, our economy is growing and we need more people in the workforce. America still has the lowest labor force participation rate since the 1970’s. This means Americans age 25-54 aren’t working full time. Our great country needs these workers! The dignity of work is a core value for our families and a deep rooted part of our American culture.
We need to encourage students to stay in school and graduate. I support skilled training initiatives that benefit high school students and high school graduates, who don’t want to pursue a four-year college degree, but need to get more skills and apprenticeships to fill the job openings in Arkansas.
We need those mid-career men and women that feel stuck in their jobs to have the opportunities to learn new skills to successfully shift career goals. For example, I met a former homebuilder, who is now a radiation technologist with a major healthcare system. His two apprenticeships and additional training allowed him to make the change while being paid.
We need those on public assistance programs to have the chance to work as they transition from dependence to independence. Solid work requirements for all able-bodied people on welfare will lift people out of poverty.
We need transitional housing and skills development for those ex-offenders coming out of incarceration. I was pleased to see the President highlight this during his 2018 State of the Union speech. I’ve sponsored H.R. 799, the Shift Back to Society Act, which establishes a pilot program with historically black colleges and universities to provide education programs for offenders that are transitioning out of prison and back into the community.