Women business owners across the country have shared with WIPP the challenges they face with finding qualified, dependable workers. The concerns ranged from finding truck drivers and master electricians to highly skilled technical personnel and qualified project managers. Key to the success of any business is human capital – a dynamic workforce that meets the needs of an ever-changing business environment. Government and the business community need to work together to ready a workforce that can meet those challenges.
Recently, WIPP submitted to the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access a letter for the record regarding the hearing, “Shrinking the Skills Gap: Solutions to the Small Business Workforce Shortage.”
In the letter, WIPP shared the following workforce development recommendations:
- Promote Partnerships Amongst Educational Institutions and Businesses
- Increase Investment in STEAM Education & Workforce Development for Women & Girls
- Support Apprenticeship & Workforce Development Programs
- Incentivize Deployment and Modernization of Our Technological Infrastructure
The Senate has also taken interest in addressing the skills gap. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) released a bipartisan draft bill, entitled ‘‘Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,’’ that aims to more closely align vocational education programs with the need of local businesses. This legislation is the companion to H.R. 2353, which passed the House in June 2017.