WASHINGTON, D.C. — As public and private employers face a growing challenge to find the talent they need for a wide range of jobs, the leading organizations that represent state and local governments —The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Conference of State Legislatures, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Counties, and National League of Cities call for a national strategy to invest in the nation’s workforce.
These organizations are comprised of state and local entities that are on the front lines of the national labor shortage and are uniquely situated to identify opportunities for federal collaboration on this issue. It is imperative for all levels of government to come together to support economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent Great Resignation, and the aging of the country’s core infrastructure.
With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, there is a pressing need to fill positions within the sectors that will build and maintain our nation’s roads, bridges, water systems and broadband networks. But, hiring for infrastructure jobs is a significant challenge –- the median infrastructure job takes 20% more time to fill than a non-infrastructure job. Congress must act to support employers and address their urgent workforce needs by:
- Providing an at-scale investment in our nation’s workforce development systems and programs to invest in skills training to meet employer demand.
- Increasing legal immigration by raising employment-based visa program caps to expand the pool of qualified individuals for hard-to-fill jobs across our nation’s communities – from truck drivers and heavy equipment operators to agricultural workers, nurses, and engineers.
State and local governments are committed to engaging with our federal partners towards our common goal of adopting effective strategies to meet our nation’s workforce needs. Increasing the pool of qualified candidates to fill critical positions is essential to strengthening our economy in years ahead.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.