DECATUR– Congressman Rodney Davis says he plans on reintroducing a bill that he says will allow the unemployed make themselves more desirable for prospective employers without sacrificing their unemployment benefits.
Davis was at Richland Community College Wednesday afternoon to present the Opportunity Knocks Act, which would allow for the unemployed to work with community colleges and other vocational programs while they are looking for work without having to give up their unemployment benefits.
“I don’t think it’s right for people who want to better themselves, who want to make their own American dream, and pay for it with their own pockets, to have to lose their unemployment when they need it the most,” Davis said.
Davis introduced the Opportunity Knocks Act in 2014 but it failed to gain enough support to pass out of the House.
Davis says he feels differently this time, “We had some things we needed to work out last year that I think kept this from gaining the support it needed. Since I introduced this last time we have made modifications to the Workforce Investment Act that will simplify the process and allow people to better themselves without giving up their benefits.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 8.6 million unemployed Americans, yet there are over 5 million job openings available.
Davis says the old system isn’t working for the new job market, “Things aren’t like they used to be, we are a global economy now, things move quickly, and the current way things are set up doesn’t allow those who are unemployed to get the training they need to qualify themselves for the jobs that are available.”