WASHINGTON, D.C. – As President Barack Obama traveled to Lorain Community College today to talk about worker training, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called for passage of his bipartisan Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would help unemployed workers train for high-growth jobs in their region. The president visited LCCC’s “Transformations” program for Computerized Numerically Controlled Machining, a program that has helped place more than 90 percent of participants in jobs within three months of graduation. As of February 2011, more than 94,000 Ohio jobs remained vacant, according to the State of Ohio’s job search website.
“All across Ohio, business owners in fields as diverse as advanced manufacturing to healthcare to energy have told me that they have open jobs to fill, but can’t find the workers with the right skills to fit those positions,” Brown said. “Our state is already on the cutting edge when it comes to programs that help train Ohioans to fill next-generations jobs—like LCCC’s Transformations. The SECTORS Act would help support more of these partnerships and ensure that more Ohioans can qualify to fill open jobs in our state.”
Despite Ohio’s 7.6 percent unemployment rate, many employers in high-growth industries struggle to find workers to fill job vacancies. The SECTORS Act tailors workforce development to the needs of regional industries, allowing more workers to receive placements and attracting more businesses to a given region. The bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry—businesses, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators—to develop plans for growing that industry.