Whidbey Examiner


Small-business jobs to get boost from bill headed to governor

April 18, 2013 · 11:24 AM

Small businesses will get help equipping employees with the skills they need to do their jobs better under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen — the companion of a bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Barbara Bailey — that is on its way to the governor for signing into law.
House Bill 1247 makes it easier for small businesses to work with community colleges to help employees upgrade their skills.  The bill expands small-business access to the state Job Skills Program, where employers partner with community colleges to train employees, and ensures that money from this program supports training that leads to degrees and credentials rather than dead-end jobs.
“We need to help people upgrade their skills so they can stay current in a fast-changing economy,” Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, said.  “This bill helps small businesses work with community colleges to make sure their employees are well-trained so they can stay and grow in their jobs.”
The companion measure is Senate Bill 5560.
“In a time when our economy is still struggling, it is important to give small businesses the support they need so that they can in-turn better support their employees,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. “This is a good jobs bill that will help our small businesses train their employees and save money in the process. It will allow our small businesses to be more competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.”
HB 1247 was approved on a 46-0 vote in the Senate late Tuesday. The bill earlier passed the House on a unanimous vote.

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