New legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) Earlier this month aims to create a pipeline of workers for long-term care and other industries.

The Strengthening Knowledge, Improving Learning, and Livelihoods, or SKILLS, Act would connect workers who experienced lay-offs and closures in industries hard hit by the pandemic, such as retail and hospitality, to career opportunities in fields such as long-term care, where qualified workers are in high demand.

The legislation would amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and would apply to job recruitment in all long-term care settings, includingskilled nursing and assisted living communities, Keller’s press secretary, Michael Plummer, told the McKnight’s Business Daily.

“While some sectors of our economy have been gutted by closures and diminished operations, others — especially long-term care facilities — are in dire need of skilled workers,” Keller said in a press release. 

Pennsylvania Health Care Association Director of External Communications Eric Heisler told McKnight’s: “Essentially, this creates an opportunity to fund the exploration of recruitment and development strategies to support workforce needs in long-term care.”

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