America needs a larger, better prepared, tech workforce–here’s what we proposed to our elected officials on Capitol Hill.
Earlier this week myself and other tech leaders from across the country traveled to Washington D.C. for the annual CompTIA D.C. Fly-In. It was an honor to stand next to other members from the KC Tech Council and to meet with Kansas and Missouri Senators, Representatives, and their staffs.
We met with the offices for Senators Blunt, McCaskill, Moran, and Roberts, and Representatives Cleaver, Graves, Marshall, and Yoder.
This was our pitch:
The CHANCE in TECH Act
The CHANCE in TECH Act was introduced in Congress as a result of our efforts last year.
The purpose of the legislation is to help provide workers from all backgrounds with the skills and knowledge they need to fill good-paying tech jobs.
More specifically, it will provide funding and training to intermediaries (such as community colleges and economic development organizations) to help them establish tech apprenticeship programs with local employers.
The benefits of the legislation
Employers in both Kansas and Missouri (and especially in Kansas City) have voiced their hardships when it comes to recruiting and hiring highly skilled tech workers. The shortage is impossible to miss.
This bill will:
- Make it easier and more efficient for young adults to find the training they need to fill those gaps.
- Help to create industry-recognized credentials, which will help employers match tech workers to jobs which they are qualified to fill.
- Increase wages and boost local economies. For example, while the average state wage is about $43,000 in Kansas and $45,000 in Missouri, the average tech wage is $79,000 and $86,000, respectively. These higher paying jobs are good for the employees, the local economy, and our local governments.
We’re seeking co-sponsors
As of this week, most of the elected officials we met with had not heard about this new bill.
However, we explained why the legislation is needed and the positive impacts the bill will have on Kansas and Missouri if enacted. While there are no co-sponsors from Kansas or Missouri at the time of this writing, we are hopeful that some of our elected officials will find value in this legislation and co-sponsor the bill.
You can help
While we are still in the early stages of this legislation, you can help.
You can contact your elected officials and ask them to support the CHANCE in TECH Act. It is already introduced in Congress and what we need now is support from our Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Visit this website to look up your elected officials’ contact information. It only takes a few minutes to call them and voice your opinion.
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.