Crowley Announces On-the-Job Training Act to Help New Yorkers Find and Retain Employment

Feb 24, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, In the Community
Rep. Joe Crowley is joined by ASI Systems Integration Senior Vice President Angel Piñeiro at a press conference to announce the On-the-Job Training Act to help put New Yorkers back to work.
Crowley Announces On-the-Job Training Act to Help New Yorkers Find and Retain Employment

New legislation will help put Americans back to work, improve skills

(Queens, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, was joined by NYC business leader Angel Piñeiro to announce the introduction of the On-the-Job Training Act of 2014 (H.R. 3971), legislation that will help put New Yorkers back to work and improve skills through on-the-job training programs. The On-the-Job Training Act of 2014 will authorize the Department of Labor to award competitive grants to establish and support local on-the-job (OJT) training programs, which connect unemployed workers with jobs and provide employers with training subsidies. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for increased investment in on-the-job training programs.

“Preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow means investing in training them today,” said Rep. Crowley. “As our economy continues to recover, workers must adapt to a changing job market. My bill builds on the proven success of on-the-job training programs, helping more job-seekers gain new skills to find and retain employment, while encouraging businesses to hire.”

Research has shown that OJT programs, which are carried out directly by employers or colleagues at the place of employment, are the most effective way to train new employees and maximize productivity. According to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, in 2011 more than 80% of OJT participants still had their jobs after nine months. Yet, despite the program’s effectiveness and high employer interest, it has yet to reach its full potential.

The On-the-Job Training Act creates a separate competitive grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that encourages the development of new OJT programs, as well as provide state and local agencies and others with support to recruit employers to participate in their programs. The legislation also expands the program to include a broader range of participants, including cities, school districts, colleges and industry associations. Applicants are able to tailor their programs to achieve specific goals, such as serving long-termed unemployed or training workers in targeted fields, like green technology.

“We are committed to ensuring passage of workforce focused legislation that will help close the IT skills gap and drive students into careers focused on science, technology, engineering and math,” said Angel Piñeiro, Senior Vice President at ASI System Integration, a NYC-based IT services and solutions provider. “Congressman Crowley’s On-the-Job Training Act has ASI’s full support. A workforce development program without OJT is like a classroom without a teacher. On-the-job training provides the best instruction directly by the employer based on its specific needs.”

In his role at ASI, Piñeiro has worked closely with New York City Public Schools to help train graduates for jobs in the growing IT field.

“On-the-job training programs are a win-win: workers have the opportunity to gain new skills, and employers are able to hire employees with the specific expertise they need,” said Crowley.

Crowley’s On-the-Job Training Act has been endorsed by a wide array of organizations dedicated to promoting effective employment policy, including the National Skills Coalition, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.