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Washington, D.C. - Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi told fellow lawmakers today that the key to further strengthening Wyoming and the nation's economy is increased worker skill levels. Key to increasing those skills is a job training bill, the Workforce Investment Act, which is already primed for passage.

The following are highlights from his speech on the Senate floor. The full text and audio can be accessed on the web in the news section of

"Whether a company decides to open a plant in Cheyenne or China depends upon a qualified local workforce. A skilled workforce can make the difference between success and failure in the new, global economy.

"Without any action, technology and other advances will outpace the ability of American workers and business to update skills needed to compete. We must improve the nation's job-training system created under the Workforce Investment Act to better prepare American workers for the good jobs of today and tomorrow . . . It will link workforce development with economic development, recognizing that job training and job creation go hand in hand . . . It will help an estimated 900,000 unemployed workers a year get back to work.

"In Wyoming, a lot of our people are leaving the state to find better jobs elsewhere. We know that we have to create the kind of good jobs with good futures that will keep our people in Wyoming. To do that, Wyoming needs workers with skills the new, global economy calls for.

"The economy has shown 12 straight months of job gains . . . We have weathered the storm and are poised to enter a new period of prosperity. However, I have to caution you about some roadblocks that stand in the way of prosperity for our workers and businesses alike. The first roadblock is a gap between the skills our workforce has and the skills our employers need. The second roadblock is the Democrats' obstruction of legislation that will help close this skills gap.

"I urge the Democratic Leader to lead, to allow the appointment of conferees to the job training legislation, the Workforce Investment Act. The cost of this obstruction is the loss of important legislative efforts that will be felt by the American people as it harms the integrity of the legislative process itself."