WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) delivered the following opening statement during a Human Resources hearing on Getting Incentives Right: Connecting Low-Income Individuals with Jobs.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good morning and welcome.
“First, let me say what an honor it is for me to be presiding over my first hearing as the Chairman of the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee.
“I’m looking forward to learning from and working alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle addressing one of our nation’s most pressing issues – that of helping move people out of poverty and into realizing the American dream. I’m hopeful we can work together in finding concrete solutions and offering real opportunity for people in need.
“Over the past year, this subcommittee has heard from a wide array of voices on helping low-income individuals move up the economic ladder. However, a perspective not often considered when most of us discuss these issues is that of employers.
“As a business owner myself, I know there is an important role employers are playing in providing real work opportunities for job seekers to compete and succeed in the workplace. I’ve seen firsthand how a job can change a person’s outlook on life and shape a brighter future.
“With looming workforce shortages in the decades ahead, businesses are going to need all who can work, to work. Yet, we know of all working-age adults who are in poverty, almost two in three are not working. The challenge is how to tap into this capable workforce and bridge this divide. I propose the answer lies in partnering with business and promoting work in our welfare programs.
“For welfare recipients, engaging in work increases economic mobility and leads to financial stability. And for employers, finding and retaining a strong workforce is necessary for long-term growth and success.
“By getting the incentives right and addressing the needs of both groups, that of job seekers and that of job creators, we can grow our economy, help people find and grow their career, and move more American families out of poverty and up the economic ladder.
“Today’s hearing will highlight specific examples of how the public and private sector are partnering to encourage positive outcomes when we move someone from welfare to work.”