Gardner, Heinrich Introduce Bipartisan Tech Legislation to Address Workforce Shortage

Washington, D.C. – Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) today introduced the Championing Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in Technology (CHANCE in Tech) Act. The bipartisan legislation would provide industry intermediaries, like state tech associations, the ability to receive federal grants to develop apprenticeships within the technology sector. It also works to alleviate the skills gap that may slow the continued growth of the technology sector.


Now more than ever before, the U.S. economy is dependent on the technology industry to create jobs and expand economic growth. In 2016 alone, the technology sector contributed more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, employed more than 7 million workers, and added more than 100,000 new jobs. Despite these impressive numbers, nationally, during any given 90-day period, there can be more than 500,000 tech job openings.


Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6), and Mia Love (R-UT-4) introduced the House companion legislation.


“As the technology sector begins to play an even larger role in our economy, it’s important our workforce has the necessary skills and training to perform these jobs,” said Gardner. “The technology industry currently faces a workforce shortage and Congress must work together to address this problem. This bipartisan legislation is an innovative solution to address the workforce shortage and will result in more Coloradans and Americans across the country receiving the proper training to enter the technology industry. The next 100 years will be defined by our ability to compete in the technology sector and the CHANCE in Tech Act will help the United States remain the global leader in technological developments.”


“As the technology sector continues to grow in New Mexico and across the country, we need to ensure that our students have the skills they need to compete for these high-paying jobs,” said Heinrich. “By encouraging apprenticeship programs for the tech sector, we can continue to strengthen the STEM pipeline and help New Mexico develop its vibrant technology economy. This bill will connect students, training programs, and community colleges in New Mexico to the growing tech sector where jobs are opening up every day, and create a more prosperous future for our state.”


"The demand for highly skilled tech talent in Colorado continues to accelerate," said Andrea Young, President and CEO at Colorado Technology Association. "While we attract young workers from across the country, we need to create clear pathways for local students to make the leap into tech careers.  Initiatives like the CHANCE in TECH Act can help connect candidates with work-based learning opportunities that grow our state's economy and provides employers with another option in their overall talent acquisition strategy."


“The U.S. is expected to have 1.8 million unfilled tech jobs by 2024. The deficit is not because of a lack of desire by American workers, but a dearth of workers with the necessary IT skills. If neglected, the IT skills gap will affect our country’s ability to protect national security interests and to compete economically on the global stage,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CompTIA’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy. “The CHANCE in Tech Act introduced today will address the growing IT talent challenge by encouraging public-private funding for apprenticeship programs in the technology sector and providing students with the necessary skills to compete in the 21st Century workforce.”