To The Honorable Congressmen/Congresswomen of the 115th Congress

Subject: To The Honorable Congressmen/Congresswomen of the 115th Congress
From: Denise N. Parker, Philadelphia, PA
Date: 1 Jan 2018

Honorable Congressmen & Congresswomen of the 115th U.S. Congress, I am writing in the hopes that you will consider introducing a bill that would help displaced workers. While the employment rate in the U.S. is low, one must acknowledge that there is a gap that must be addressed. The gap that exists is between the vast number of jobs in the 'new collar' job market and the number of skilled workers to fill such positions. Public policy that focuses on lifting people up out of poverty, economic development, health, technology, etc, should include workers' who have been laid-off or are returning to the job market after a period of disability. Often, these workers are older and - like myself - aren't tech savvy. There was a time when older workers - people with life experience - were considered a valuable asset to employers'. Nowadays, this doesn't seem to be the case. Yet, such people are far from ready to be put out to pasture. And while President Trump - during a joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel - spoke of 'workforce development' & aiming for 5 million apprenticeships, this is Germany's model for addressing the youth unemployment rate. While this is a commendable goal, I would hope mature workers who have been laid-off or those with physical limitations be given the opportunity to successfully transition back into the job market. One company in Pikeville, KY is doing just that. BitSource is taking coal miners who have lost their job & training them in computer coding (programmers, support technicians,etc.). So far, the training model BitSource has implemented is working. Honorable Congressmen & Congresswomen, I implore you to consider introducing a bill that would enable laid-off workers & those returning to the job market, after a period of disability, to gain the skills that will qualify them to enter 'new collar' positions. I thank you. Denise Parker (email) parkerd309@gmail.com

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