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Franken announces ‘21st century workforce tour’

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has announced that he will be holding events throughout the state to highlight his efforts to build a 21st century workforce and help fill more than 3 million jobs around the country that need workers with the right skills.

The 21st Century Workforce Tour kicked off earlier this week in Willmar, where Sen. Franken brought together regional workforce experts and representatives from Ridgewater Community College to meet with a key local manufacturer on how to ensure that students can get the right training for open jobs.

Last month, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first real reform of the nation’s workforce development system in 16 years, was signed into law. It includes measures that Sen. Franken fought for to support partnerships between businesses and two-year colleges. Sen. Franken said he will continue working on his standalone bill, the Community College to Career Fund Act, to give those partnerships an even bigger shot in the arm.

Early on Thursday, Sen. Franken continued his tour at Blue Line Travel Center in Worthington to discuss the job-creating and cost-saving potential of clean energy “retrofits”, which make buildings more energy efficient and help building owners cut costs. In 2011, Sen. Franken started a creative initiative to boost retrofits in Minnesota by pairing building owners with the financing, services, and tools they need.