Economic Agenda: Workforce Training and Retention
Small Business Majority has created an economic blueprint for lawmakers and government leaders that will strengthen our economy, create jobs and solidify its base, small businesses. The recommendations range from action on access to capital, taxes, healthcare, infrastructure, freelance economy, minimum wage, workforce training, immigration, clean energy and exports, and are all tied to creating economic opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Small businesses face particular challenges when it comes to finding and retaining skilled workers. Not only do they lack the robust resources to create job-specific training programs, but they also are limited in their capacity to search and compete for or relocate the workers for the jobs they need to fill. We need to support strategies and solutions that leverage education and training resources at the local and regional level that are closely aligned with the needs of small businesses. This includes:
- Expanding internship and mentoring programs to create career paths for youth, and ensure access to skilled, entry-level workers for small businesses.
- Supporting regional economic clusters/partnerships that include educational institutions with the resources to provide industry-focused training and skills development.
- Supporting easy-to-implement mechanisms for small business employees to access family/medical leave and retirement benefits (such as the president’s plan to expand retirement savings plans to U.S. workers).
- Passing the FAMILY Act to provide partial wage replacement for small business employees to handle serious health conditions for themselves and family members.
- Implementing the president’s plan to make two years of community college and technical school free to responsible students, which would help address our nation’s crippling youth unemployment, and small business owners’ struggle to find qualified workers.
- Implementing studies that ensure Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs are meeting small business and worker needs.
- Supporting easy-to-implement mechanisms for the self-employed to access family/medical leave and retirement benefits.