COVID-19 helping Americans find work
COVID-19 is the most severe health crisis the world has experienced and could be one of the biggest destroyers of jobs. That matters when people are stripped of their work, they suffer losses, not just income but also of dignity, and hope.
Kim calls for Congress to:
- Provide funding to states to help Americans who are currently unemployed get retrained.
Investing in Americans
There is a mismatch in skills between labor and businesses, which poses an ongoing challenge for the future of work. This creates a deficit in the labor force. Workers in specific industries, especially jobs that are routine and repetitive, are more vulnerable to technological disruption. The way we work, the skills we need to thrive in our jobs and the trajectories of our careers are rapidly evolving. These changes – driven by technological innovation, demographics, shifting business models and nature of work are significantly altering the skills demanded by the labor market. Kim’s plan proposes creating better work opportunities in the face of technological change.
- Increase funding for basic research – the federal government needs to continue to be a driver of basic research, particularly as development of artificial intelligence becomes a competitive race with nations such as China.
- Expand financing options for retraining, including lifelong learning accounts.
- At the age of 18, individual will be eligible to contribute up to $3,000 per year made on a Pre-tax basis.
- The federal government will directly make contributions based on the individuals income (larger contributions will go to low-income workers)
- Employers can also contribute up to $3,000
- Work with colleges and universities to create shorter learning modules that will offer short-term and highly specific courses aligned with specific employment opportunities.
- Develop an open, shareable national standard for online job postings – The U.S needs open, consistent standards for hiring announcements that would make information easy to access and easy for third-party providers to share.
From December to January 2019, we had the longest government shutdown in history. Unlike federal employees who were furloughed and later received compensation, government contractors were not. My plan will require the government to set aside additional money for all contracts. These funds will pay government contractors if a shutdown occurs.
With each passing year, contracting companies receive more money, yet a government contractor often does not benefit despite exemplary performance. My plan will require a mandatory pay increase based on performance.
During a rebid process, contracts are often won by different companies. When this happens, government contractors are not guaranteed to receive the same pay. My plan will require companies receiving a new contract to honor the income provided by the last contractor – or higher.