A “workforce” bill sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) is drawing the support of veterans and the energy industry.
H.R. 4583, “to promote a 21st Century energy and manufacturing workforce”, would, among other measures, direct the U.S. Secretary of Energy to “prioritize education and training for energy and manufacturing-related jobs in order to increase the number of skilled workers trained to work in energy and manufacturing-related fields when considering awards for existing grant programs.”
Captain James McCormick, USA (ret), program director for Vets4Energy, said many of the jobs that could be spurred by this legislation would be filled by U.S. veterans.
“It's time to take command of our destiny. America sits on enough energy resources to supply ourselves and our allies,” McCormick told Illinois Business Daily. “We can control our own destiny and have enough careers to provide Americans a great opportunity at a lifestyle that many used to refer to as the American Dream. Let's build that dream.”
McCormick’s group advocates for energy policies that contribute to America's national security.
The energy industry also is backing the legislation, saying it would “encourage and promote diversity in the energy industry.”
“America is the No.1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world, and we need a workforce that will help keep America competitive,” American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement praising House passage of the bill. “Our energy renaissance has created unprecedented opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds. Given the proper education and training, more than half a million new jobs in the industry are projected to be filled by minorities and women over the next decade and a half.”
H.R. 4583 passed the House on February 29, 2016 and now sits in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.