Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jul 16th, 2009 :: 8:13:10 to 8:22:40
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James Webb

8:13:10 to 8:22:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

8:13:16 to 8:13:36( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: quorum call: a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. webb: i k unanimous consent the call of the quorum be dispensed. .the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. webb: i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. webb: thank you, madam president. today i introduce with great pride the adult education and

James Webb

8:13:37 to 8:14:01( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: economic getting act of 2009 and i would like to point out i and my staff have been workingn this legislation for more than a year. it is designed to address a problem that we quite frankly don't spend enough attention on, i think, as we discuss the

James Webb

8:14:02 to 8:14:25( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: challenges of education in america. that is not the problem that's often discussed with respect to technical degrees or how we can compete with foreign countries in the number of engineers we're putting out or those sorts of issues. it's the question of how we can

James Webb

8:14:26 to 8:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: assure basic competence at the working level of a lot of american companies. i have started calling this the second chance act for education. there are a lot of people in this country who for a variety of reasons when they are in their teens, their late teens,

James Webb

8:14:47 to 8:15:08( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: cease their educational pursuits even before they finished high school, perhaps someone might have a child or get in trouble with the law or get an independent streak and decide to leave school and then when you get to the age of, say, 30 or

James Webb

8:15:09 to 8:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: beyond, realize the disadvantage that you have in attempting to compete in the marketplace. there are really very few provisions in our law and in our policies that address that situation, and this bill is designed to address that si we seek to reform and increase

James Webb

8:15:32 to 8:15:52( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: investment in what we education, which is that span of education that will bring people beyond a high school degree and hopefully into postsecond ary education. we were looking at job traing and other workforce programs that we need as a country to build a 20th

James Webb

8:15:53 to 8:16:14( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: workforce. i'm very pleased to be joined in this initiative as a principal cosponsor with senator sherrod brown of ohio. by almost any measure, our nation faces a critical need to adult education. our current adult education system falls far short in

James Webb

8:16:15 to 8:16:35( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: preparing our people to compete in this global marketplace. in fact, it's estimated that only 2.5 million of the 93 million people who could benefit from these types of services are actually receiving them today. the american labor market has changed dramatically with the advent of new technology and manufacturing sector.

James Webb

8:16:36 to 8:16:56( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: the need for well-trained and highly-skilled workers is obvious, and it has increased. at the same time our adult education system, which should be effectively praoepl our low-skilled workers to -- preparing our low-skilled workers to meet the demands in this shifting economy has not kept pace. since 2002, the federal

James Webb

8:16:57 to 8:17:17( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: government has consistently decreased s education. in addition, the nation's prim adult education job traing and employment services, the wrorbgs investment act, has not been -- the workforce investment act has not been reauthorized in ten years. you can imagine how much the economy has changed over the

James Webb

8:17:18 to 8:17:42( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: last ten there are other signs tpoeupbgt a need for a better approach to adult education. if you look at adult education enrollment rates, in were more than 4 million individuals enrolled. by 2007, that number had dropped to only 2 million

James Webb

8:17:43 to 8:18:06( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: basically a 40% drop from when the workforce investment act was originally enacted. one of the largest barriers to economic growth in many communities workforce, particularly with those who have entry-level skills. it's critical that we increase the numbe obtain a high school diploma and encourage them to go forward

James Webb

8:18:07 to 8:18:28( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: into postsecondary education. i'm sure we can all agree the st economic tool for any community is a well-educated, skilled workforce. the growing number of american skilled wor facing retirement age, and the growth and skill labor has actually stagnated. if we continue along the current path, we'll see only a 19%

James Webb

8:18:29 to 8:18:50( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: increase in the number of post secondary education equipped native-born workers, which is about one-seventh the rate of growth during the past two decades. by comparison, we all know countries like china and india are tripling the number of college graduates in their countries. according to the workforce alliance, 80% of the jobs in

James Webb

8:18:51 to 8:19:11( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: today's economy require some sort of education past a high school degree. yet, there are 8 million adults in the workforce today who have proficiency or lack educational credentials beyond high school. with so many workers who are unemployed or underemployed, it's clear we should be

James Webb

8:19:12 to 8:19:33( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: investing in the training or retraining of american workers to fill this growing gap. our legislation begins that vital task by addressing these problems. so, today we are proposing a two-pronged approach to strengthen the nation's workforce. first, we want to build on-ramps

James Webb

8:19:34 to 8:19:55( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: for american workers who got off track perhaps in their teens and need new skills and a better education in order to improve their lives. just as important, we want to encourage employers to help them by offering tax credits to businesses that invest in these employees. our government has long provided employers with limited tax

James Webb

8:19:56 to 8:20:16( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: credits when they help their employers go to college or to graduate school. it is basic logic, and i believe to the national good, that we should provide similar incentives for this type of adult education. this bill authorizes a rather modest $500 million increase in

James Webb

8:20:17 to 8:20:38( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: funding to invigorate state and local adult education programs nationwide in order to increase the number of adults with a high school diploma. as a result, the bill will inevitably increase the number of high school graduates who go on to college and update and expand the job skills of american workforce at large.

James Webb

8:20:39 to 8:21:00( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: all of this is relevant to my longg standing personal goal of promoting basic economic fairness in our society. other provisions in the bill willmprove workers' readiness to meet the demands of a global workforce by providing pathways to obtain basic skills, job training and adult education, will provide workers with

James Webb

8:21:01 to 8:21:21( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: greater access to on-the-job training and adult education by encouraging public-private partnerships between government, business, and labor. will increase the use of technology in workforce skills training. will improve access to correctional educational programs to channel former offenders into productive endeavors and to reduce resid

James Webb

8:21:22 to 8:21:43( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: sreufplt will encourage investment in lower-skilled workers by providing employers with a tax credit if they invest in their employees' education. this tax credit is aimed at encouraging general and transferable skills of element that may be in the long term interest of most of its employees but are not always so clearly rewarded by the marketplace.

James Webb

8:21:44 to 8:22:06( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: this act focuses on addressing the unique needs of adults with limited basic skills, with no high school diploma, or with limited english proficiency. those individuals who may have taken a different path early in their lives and who now find themselves eager to go back to school and receive additional job training and skills should be provided opportunities to get

James Webb

8:22:07 to 8:22:27( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: back on track. my legislation also would bolster the president's just-announced goal of ensuring that 5 million more americans graduate from community ledges by 2020 and updating kreupl columns to keep up with the skills tkurbs curriculums needed to keep up with the skills in today's workforce.

James Webb

8:22:28 to 8:22:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: i'm very proud of the work that my staff has done on this for more than a year now. our nation's workforce and local communities will be stronger for it. and it's my hope that this legislation could be passed in a timely manner.

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