WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) today held a hearing on promoting American competitiveness through workforce development. Klobuchar invited Enterprise Minnesota CEO Bob Kill to testify about how workforce training initiatives and public-private partnerships have helped Minnesota businesses expand in a tough economy, provided new skill sets to keep workers competitive, and helped place talented students in new careers. Klobuchar also emphasized the importance of keeping post-secondary education affordable to help Minnesota continue to lead the way with its highly trained workforce.

“On my ‘Made in America’ tour, I’ve seen first-hand how successful Minnesota businesses are growing and putting highly-skilled Minnesotans to work,” said Klobuchar. “We need to make sure our innovative Minnesota businesses have the tools they need to remain at the leading edge of innovation by creating new opportunities for workers to develop skills on the job and ensuring our students have access to an affordable, first-rate education.”

“Building public-private collaboration between communities, schools and businesses is key to closing the skills gap,”said Kill. “I thank Senator Klobuchar for the opportunity to testify today and I look forward to working to partner our new workforce with the great careers available.”

At the hearing, Klobuchar outlined legislation she plans to introduce in the coming weeks that would help create a more streamlined education and workforce development system that is built on proven training models and is responsive to the demands of local area employers.  Klobuchar’s bill would also help facilitate strategic partnerships between private sector businesses and educational institutions to develop high-demand, high-growth workforce skills.

Last week, Senator Klobuchar hosted a workforce development forum at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis that focused on preparing students for the jobs of the future. The event was part of a series of  events she held last week that focused on her competitive agenda to strengthen the economy.

Klobuchar and Blunt are chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, and have been leaders in the effort to develop a strong science and engineering workforce ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Klobuchar was a strong supporter of the America COMPETES Act, which increased support for math and science education as well as new technology initiatives. Klobuchar has also introduced the Innovate America Act to promote innovation and increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy.