Swalwell Co-sponsors Bipartisan DOE National Laboratory Jobs ACCESS Act to Help Revitalize Workforce Pipelines in Key Sectors of the American Labor Pool

June 6, 2019
Press Release
The new legislation would help the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and California campus of Sandia National Laboratory attract the trained workers they need to be successful.

WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) is an original co-sponsor of the new bipartisan Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory Jobs Apprenticeships for Complete and Committed Employment of Specialized Skills (ACCESS) ACT, announced today. The bill would help create apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs that utilize local high schools, community colleges, universities and other higher education institutions, in conjunction with workforce intermediaries working in partnership with national laboratories and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sites, to fill the skills gap in critical sectors of the American workforce. The bill would specifically help the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and California campus of Sandia National Laboratory, both located in California's 15th District.

The DOE National Laboratories and NNSA production sites allow our nation to focus on some of the most pressing national security issues. In California, The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory works to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent, while the Sandia National Laboratory works across various security issues, such as energy resources, transportation, immigration. These laboratories require skilled workers and technicians who can operate special machinery and work in one-of-a-kind facilities. The DOE National Laboratory Jobs ACCESS Act would create a critical pipeline to help fill these important positions and would authorize $5 million over five years starting in fiscal year 2020, through 2024.

“The pipeline for these crucial jobs is essentially non-existent,” said Swalwell. “I am proud to sign on as an original co-sponsor of this bill to help increase the number of qualified applicants we can send to the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia Laboratories in Livermore, as well as laboratories nationwide”.

A 2017 NNSA report showed that 50 percent of the workforce in key technician positions is within 5 years of retirement age and less than 7 percent are under 30 years old.