UTICA, N.Y. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI), and called for legislation to invest in workforce training and technical education in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Central Industries, the employment and manufacturing division of CABVI, employs 110 workers and trains blind and visually impaired employees to produce medical products and provide services needed by federal and state governments.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the facility has experienced increased demand for medical supplies, especially gloves.
Senator Gillibrand was joined by CABVI President and CEO Ed Welsh and Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri.
As organizations and manufacturers adjust to the demands of the coronavirus crisis, Gillibrand is calling for $15 billion in funding for workforce training infrastructure including training, career navigation, and other services to help workers quickly gain and refine essential skills to re-enter the workforce.
The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act would ensure direct support for critical workforce development and career and technical education as the economy responds.
In addition, Senator Gillibrand is calling on Congress to include the End Outsourcing Act in the next coronavirus relief package to support economic recovery.
The legislation would create a new tax benefit to help companies bring jobs back to America, and would require companies that have outsourced jobs within a five year period to pay back federal tax incentives and grants from facilities closed due to outsourcing.
“During these challenging times the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired has stepped up and drawn on their expertise to join New York’s battle against the coronavirus outbreak. Their adaptability, commitment to innovation, and dedication to the community showcase what New Yorkers do best,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Now, Congress must help train our workforce to respond to this crisis and put millions of Americans back to work. For our country to recover, it’s critical that we invest in training workers with in-demand skills and build the strong, skilled, and diverse American workforce needed to meet innovation in this unprecedented time. We must address the growing demand for education, training, and employment services in order to help people gain skills, find jobs, strengthen families and aid our economic recovery.”
More than 30 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last month, and millions more are likely to be laid off through July.
In response to this economic crisis, the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act would directly invest in workers, employers, and the economy.
The legislation would increase support for layoff aversion strategies that allow employers to receive partial funding while keeping workers on the payroll and helping employees improve their job skills through training.