McBath, Harder, Fitzpatrick, Chavez-DeRemer Introduce Bipartisan Youth Workforce Readiness Act

Bill will provide career education opportunities at after-school programs.

May 17, 2023

Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Josh Harder (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR) introduced the Youth Workforce Readiness Act. This bipartisan bill would establish a grant for eligible after-school programs to equip the next generation with the skills they'll need to succeed in the workforce. These after-school programs build knowledge and skills, help keep kids out of trouble, and enable learning experiences that will help students thrive in good-paying jobs when they grow up.

The Youth Workforce Readiness Act would support a wide array of education offerings at after-school programs, like the Boys and Girls Club of America, including:

  • Leadership development opportunities, financial literacy lessons, and entrepreneurial skills training
  • Helping teens obtain summer employment, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship opportunities
  • Learning employability skills like communication, collaboration, and critical thinking
  • Mentorship opportunities, career counseling and exploration, and academic counseling
  • Occupation skills training with a focus on training programs that are aligned with good-paying, in-demand jobs in the local economy

“We need to make sure that the next generation has access to the high-quality programs that will help prepare them for a successful future.” said Rep. McBath. “The world is moving forward, and it's our responsibility to provide our children with the skills they need to be successful in the careers of tomorrow. I want to thank my colleagues for their collaboration in this effort.”

“I can’t think of a better investment in our community than setting our kids up for success,” said Rep. Harder. “Making sure the next generation is well-prepared for the future goes hand-in-hand with filling good-paying jobs here in the Valley. Investing in after-school programs that include career development, academic counseling, hands-on occupation skills training, and learning practical skills like communication and critical thinking will help equip kids with the tools employers want while also providing a safe place for students after school. I’m proud to introduce this bill to give every kid in the Valley a bright future.” 

“Investments in career development, education, and practical skills will set up our kids for success,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will provide grants to national youth-serving organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for after-school workforce readiness programs. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act will ensure that our children have the resources and guidance they need to not just find a job, but create a career path.”

“When I was a mayor, I always looked for ways to get students engaged and expand learning opportunities,” said Rep. Chavez-DeRemer. “The Youth Workforce Readiness Act will help accomplish this goal on a much larger scale, and I’m honored to join my colleagues to help reintroduce this important legislation. As this country’s next generation of leaders, we must do everything we can to ensure our children have the tools and skills needed to excel outside of the classroom.”

“If today’s young people are going to meet the workforce challenges of tomorrow, they need safe spaces, positive mentorship and work experiences today. Just like the ones offered at out-of-school time providers like Boys & Girls Clubs” said Jim Clark, president and CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “But we know we cannot address these challenges alone. Millions of young people face an uncertain future and a competitive job market. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act utilizes the time kids spend after school and during the summer to develop essential skills and create their pathway to a quality career. We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Harder, Fitzpatrick, Chavez-DeRemer and McBath in identifying solutions and opportunities to support youth as they prepare for their futures.”

The full text of the bill is available here.