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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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Tenn.), as well as its top Democrat, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: exclusive MORE (D-Wash.), to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

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“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 TrumpIvanka TrumpMichael Cohen predicts Trump will turn on family after revelation of criminal probe Eric Trump buys .2M home near father's golf club in Florida Melinda Gates tapped divorce lawyers in 2019 after Epstein links to husband: report MORE and senators in April.