U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Bucks) is pushing for a new bill that would address the so-called "skills gap" between American companies and the skilled workers they want to hire, a predicament that he said is evident in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
The congressman on Friday released the results of a survey his office conducted among companies in the manufacturing industry in the 8th Congressional District, which includes all of Bucks and a portion of eastern Montgomery County. Among the 200 companies that responded, more than 70 percent said "it is difficult to find employees with the right skills," while less than 20 percent agreed that "local educational institutions provide our company with the trained workers we need," Fitzpatrick's office said.
The congressman is a co-sponsor on the Skills Gap Strategy Act of 2014, a bill introduced in the House this week by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat representing the 17th Congressional District in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The bill would require the Department of Labor to study the nation's skills gap problem and then produce recommendations to increase the number of employers and employees in work-force training programs and apprenticeships.