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Yarmuth Introduces "Ready to Compete Act" to Help Prepare American Students and Workforce for Jobs of 21st Century

(Louisville, KY) Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) unveiled new legislation that will help ensure American students and workers are prepared to compete in the global economy and secure the jobs of the future. While new jobs in growing sectors typically require a high school degree, 39 million Americans and 25 percent of adult Kentuckians do not have a diploma. Congressman Yarmuth’s Ready to Compete Act develops and updates four programs to use technology to address this gap, expanding the availability of workforce training programs, GED preparation, and adult education initiatives, while providing new resources for teacher training, classroom instruction, and school readiness efforts.
“For our country to continue to lead the global economy, we must be sure our workforce is the best trained, best educated, and most highly-prepared in the world,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “This legislation uses a four-prong approach that capitalizes on cutting edge technology to guarantee American students and workers have the resources and skills for the jobs of the future.”
As Co-Chair of the Congressional Competitiveness Task Force, Congressman Yarmuth has focused on legislation that spurs not just short-term job creation, but also advances long-term policies and initiatives that will guarantee America’s economy will thrive for decades to come. The Ready to Compete Act invests in programs that aim to help retrain today’s workers and best equip the workforce of the future.
“With more than 35 years as a national leader in adult education and currently providing training across the country through our GED Connection and Workplace Essential Skills series, KET has seen firsthand the positive difference that even basic-education and literacy skills can make for individuals looking to succeed within today's workforce,” said Shae Hopkins, Executive Director of Kentucky Educational Television.
“Given that one in four U.S. students fails to graduate each year, while employers require an ever-increasing level of knowledge and skills, we enthusiastically applaud Congressman Yarmuth’s efforts to bridge this gap by providing people with the educational opportunities necessary to enter the workforce, improve their job status or continue their postsecondary education,” continued Hopkins. “Through the power and access of public television, learners of all ages will be better able to compete for jobs now and in the future.”
Drafted after extensive collaboration with Kentucky Educational Television, the Association of Public Television Stations, and teachers and employers from Louisville and across the nation, Congressman Yarmuth’s Ready to Compete Act develops and expands four distinct programs to improve workforce development and classroom instruction:
  • Ready to Learn – Since 1993, this program has used public television programming to build early childhood reading skills. The Ready to Compete Act will broaden this proven program to improve school readiness by incorporating math, science and technology education instruction.
  • Ready to Earn – By authorizing a new program in the Workforce Investment Act, Congressman Yarmuth’s bill will increase the availability of programming such as KET’s GED Connection, which provides video, online, and print elements to adult workers. The legislation also supports increased resources for workforce training programs and adult literacy initiatives.
  • Ready to Teach – The Ready to Compete Act will increase support for training and professional development programs available through public television, helping teachers acquire the tools to provide engaging and inspirational content to students.
  • Ready to Achieve - The legislationprovides for increased availability of multimedia instruction and the availability of digital content for math, science, and technology education. The bill will also develop an On-Demand media service to allow Public Television stations to share their content nationwide.