IBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training

IBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training
© Greg Nash

IBM is pushing congressional leaders to update workforce legislation aimed at helping workers get technical skills necessary from the growing number of technology-related vocational jobs.

In a letter, the legacy tech giant, leading a coalition of 400 organizations, urged the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Congress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees MORE (R-Tenn.), as well as its top Democrat, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators seek answers on surprise medical bills | Red states move to limit Medicaid expansion | Two drug companies agree to testify Senate Dems block Sasse measure meant to respond to Virginia bill MORE (D-Wash.), to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.


“As competition for high-skilled labor increases and as the U.S. economy reaches full employment, every effort must be made to close the skills gaps that many industries across all sectors face,” IBM and company wrote in its letter to the senators.

Other groups in the coalition pushing the Perkins Act included the Information Technology Industry Council and BSA, the Software Alliance both of which lobby on behalf of major tech firms, as well as Honda and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Perkins Act which aims to increase training in technical career areas that require specific training for employment was last overhauled in 2006. At that time, changes shifted the focus of the act from “vocational training,” to “career and technical education.”

The bill has already passed in the House.

IBM has been working to push reform efforts of the act along. In addition to lobbying House members on the matter, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty discussed ways to get the Perkins Act reauthorization passed at a dinner with Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump, Harris, Ocasio-Cortez, Charlie Kirk among Twitter's most-engaged users Ivanka must recalibrate her paid family leave plan to make it tenable Four names emerge for UN position: report MORE and senators in April.