Langworthy introduces bipartisan bill to address gaps in trade skills, rural workforce
U.S. Rep. Nick Langworthy, who represents the 23rd Congressional District, was in Steuben County last week to share a newly introduced bill to fund trade-skill development in rural workforces.
Langworthy announced the Creating Access to Rural Employment and Education for Resilience and Success (CAREERS) Act, during a visit to Siemens Energy in the village of Painted Post.
Siemens Energy is a global multibillion-dollar energy technology company with a local manufacturing plant that employs nearly 500 people.
The CAREERS Act bill would accompany the currently stalled federal farm bill and provide eligible schools and companies, like Siemens Energy, with millions of dollars in grants.
The bipartisan bill is aimed at supporting career pathway programs in industry sectors like agribusiness, public utilities, health and child care, conservation practices and management, and manufacturing.
“This is particularly for rural areas,” said Langworthy. “So, the Southern Tier would fit this perfectly, allowing our stakeholders like a Siemens, to work with an educational institution like SUNY Corning, to develop a curriculum to make sure that SUNY Corning is cranking out the employees that they need, and they're well trained to go on the job right away.”
If the farm bill passes, grant funding would come from the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and range from $500,000 to $2 million.
“This is about getting the money into the pipeline,” explained Langworthy. “And then the RISE grant program, I believe, would work with the educational institutions, funding the educational institutions, which would work with our local partners, hopefully, to identify the opportunity for jobs for our citizens.”
Langworthy said those educational institutions could include State University of New York schools located in the Southern Tier like Corning Community College, Jamestown Community College and Alfred State College of Technology. He also included the Greater Southern Tier Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) as a possible pipeline partner for the RISE grant program.
It is unclear when or if the farm bill will pass. Congress extended the 2018 Farm Bill in its continuing resolution last November. The extension runs through September 2024.