U.S. Congressman Max Miller Introduces Legislation to Overhaul Workforce Education

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, U.S. Congressman Max Miller (OH-07) introduced the American Workforce Act, a bill to overhaul workforce education. The legislation provides high school graduates with a $9,000 workforce training voucher to participate in education programs designed by employers and taught by validated trade associations, community colleges, high-schools, non-profits, or labor unions. The vouchers will be paid for in part by taxes on wealthy private college endowments. Original co-sponsors of the legislation are Rep. Derrick Van Order (WI-03) and Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04)

Senator Tom Cotton (Arkansas) today introduced the Senate companion legislation. Senator JD Vance (Ohio) is an original co-sponsor of the Senate companion bill. 

“In today’s world, it’s clear that the government’s hefty investment in higher education hasn’t really set up our next generation for success. Just look at our college campuses across America today,” said Congressman Miller. “Our education system leaves behind Americans who want to head directly into the workforce pursuing careers that don’t require a college degree. It’s high time we fix this by focusing on giving all American workers all the tools they need to grow our workforce, boost the economy, and secure a bright future. My bill is all about shaking up the education system to give a leg up to the folks who’ve been overlooked for too long while finally bridging the gap between.” 

“For decades, the federal government has spent billions of dollars propping up bloated colleges that serve a minority of our citizens—and recently, have let antisemitic and anti-American ideas flourish. Meanwhile, the majority of Americans who don’t go to college are left behind. In fact, the federal government spends eight times more on college for the few than it does on job training for the many. My bill will right that wrong by investing heavily in a new workforce education strategy to help working Americans get ahead,” said Senator Cotton.

“Tradesmen and women not only built this great country of ours, they keep it running,” said Congressman Van Orden. “The federal government should be doing everything possible to encourage and support the training programs that lead our young men and women to getting these high paying, in-demand jobs. If America is going to continue to be the nation we all love, we need the trades to thrive. That is why I am proud to introduce the American Workforce Act alongside Rep. Miller so private employers can have the ability to train and equip prospective employees with the skills they need to be successful.” 

“Empowering more Americans to enter the workforce will further unleash the full strength of our nation’s economy and support local communities from coast to coast, which is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the American Workforce Act,” said Congressman D’Esposito.  “This critical legislation will invest in our nation’s future workforce by providing individuals with opportunities to acquire qualifying work skills which will help combat our nation’s skilled labor shortage and keep the United States at the forefront of innovation and productivity.” 

The American Workforce Act will: 

  • Create a $9,000 federal voucher available to prospective “trainees,” defined as any citizen with a high school degree/GED, but without a bachelor’s degree or higher. 
  • Offer an additional $1,000 bonus to employers for each trainee that is hired after completion of the workforce training program. 
  • Require participating employers to provide training for positions paid at least 80% of the local median household income. 
  • Allow the voucher to subsidize employer-led workforce training that offers a full time, paid position combing on-the-job experience and skilled workforce training. 
  • Give employers wide flexibility to build their own training programs or delegate the training to a valid third-party entity, such as a trade association, community college, high school, non-profit, or union. 
  • Require E-Verify at participating employers. 
  • Levy a one percent tax on the fair market value of endowments at colleges and universities that (1) have more than 500 full-time enrolled students, (2) have endowments worth more than $2.5 billion and $500,000 per full-time enrolled student, and (3) do not have a religious mission. 

A section-by-section summary of the legislation is available here. 

Legislation text is available here. 

Editor’s note regarding Congressman Miller:    

 Congressman Max Miller represents Ohio’s Seventh District which includes Medina and Wayne counties as well as parts of Cuyahoga and Holmes counties. Miller serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for which he is also Chairman of the Environment Subcommittee. The Republican freshman members selected Miller as their representative to the Republican Steering Committee.  He is a member of the Republican Study Committee, Main Street Caucus, and the Congressional Jewish Caucus. Before joining Congress, Miller spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves and served in several senior positions for President Donald Trump. Please visit http://maxmiller.house.gov for more information.  

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