One of our amazing developers, Alicia Waide, and Dana Ledyard, director of strategic partnerships, spoke on Capitol Hill at the Voices for Skills event hosted by National Skills Coalition. They, alongside Philadelphia Fight and Holder Construction, explained and reinforced why national leaders and businesses need to support more skills training programs. You can watch a recording of the event here.
It was a packed house. In the crowd were Michigan Congressmen Andy Levin (D) and Paul Mitchell (R), among other Congressional leaders. The audience came to see how skills training programs have drastically changed the lives of workers, their families and communities.
Alicia, a Baltimore City Public School teacher for sixteen years, brought an emotional hush to the room and caused many to tear up when she shared her professional journey. She called Catalyte’s training program, “unexpectedly life-changing,” and that she was, “full of so much pride and gratitude for this opportunity.” After her story, there was not a dry eye in the room!
Experiences like Alicia’s and the others on the panel are the reason why elected officials at all levels of government need to invest in skills training programs. Workers and business leaders overwhelmingly support such training as a way to improve economic conditions and remain competitive on the global stage. We are starting to see bipartisan support for skills training initiatives, as evidenced by participants in this event.
As Catalyte has shown, and Alicia so graciously reminded us during the panel, skills training programs can change lives and boost economic development. The future of work is changing. It’s time to enact policies that help this progress.