U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Ron Wyden of Oregon have introduced the Long-Term Unemployment Elimination Act. This act would create an innovate federal program to generate job opportunities for individuals who have been unemployment for more than six months. So far in 2019, the number of long-term unemployed individuals has stayed between 1.2 and 1.3 million. This number does not include workers who were looking for a job but have since given up. Having long gaps in employment history can hurt a workers chances of being hired.

 

The Long-Term Unemployment Elimination act will provide funding to workforce development boards and organizations to generate opportunities for these workers. The act will offer support to help workers with issues that could be preventing them from getting a job. This could be help with childcare, transportation, substance abuse treatment and job training.  According to Senator Van Hollen “We have made important progress in rebuilding our economy over the last decade. But, over a million Americans have been left behind – impacting their families, their communities and our entire economy. We can and must change that. Our bill would tackle the problem of long-term unemployment head on, putting people back to work and giving them the skills and experience they need to stay employed.”  Senator Wyden added “There’s a morally unacceptable disconnect in our economy with Americans who want to work unable to find jobs that pay a living wage. Programs that train workers and leave them to twist in the wind aren’t getting the job done. This proposal and our ELEVATE Act marries the needs of employers and workers, fast tracking new opportunities for employers to hire and train unemployed workers quickly for good-paying, permanent jobs.”

The ELEVATE Act stands for “Economic Ladders to End Volatility and Advance Training and Employment” and has the following provisions:

A new title to the Social Security Act for states to fund and implement subsidized employment programs; Guardrails that ensure states pursue re-employment and retraining programs with a strong evidence base and low overhead; Funding conditioned on states’ quarterly unemployment rates to create aggressive and fast-acting “automatic stabilizers”; A demonstration project to identify “pro-worker employers” to ensure subsidized job placements don’t erode job quality; A national self-employment benefit for recently unemployed workers to pursue entrepreneurship; And a national relocation assistance program to reimburse eligible individuals for the expenses associated with “moving to opportunity.”

To learn more about the Long-Term Unemployment Elimination Act you can visit Chris Van Hollen’s Website here: https://bit.ly/2KsjFsc

To learn more about the ELEVATE Act you can visit Congress.gov here: https://bit.ly/30b7HqI