Summary: Today at a press conference with House Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed closing the skills gap with policies that encourage skills-based education.

Opening statement:

“As you know, the president visited Wisconsin to highlight this very issue that we’re talking about—that GT and Carlos brought to us. He was at Waukesha County Technical College.

“Ours is a state with a very low employment rate. In fact, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is the lowest it’s been since 1999. So we’ve got jobs.

“But the challenge that we have, where I come from, is we need workers with the right skills to fill those in-demand jobs. We have to close this skills gap. This is huge in the Midwest. It’s something I hear about every single time I tour a business. So, we’ve got to make sure we can get people with the right skills. And while we talk a lot about college, there is just no one-size-fits-all solution here.

“We need to renew our emphasis on trades, on apprenticeships, on career and technical education. This is how we help get people into jobs that will double and triple what they’re already making, and put them on a steady career path. You can do really well in Wisconsin and have a great life and a good future for your family with a good technical skills job.

“So the work that Carlos Curbelo, Glenn Thompson, and the people at the Education and the Workforce Committee—the work that they’re doing is all about making sure that it pays to work, and getting people out of poverty and onto the ladder of opportunity. This is one of the most important contributions we can make in this Congress to improve people’s lives.

“But if you look back over the last month or so—whether it is sending regulatory reform to the president’s desk; whether it’s passing the CHOICE Act to help community banks help these small businesses get the capital they need to grow and hire; or, taking the action to expand career and technical education.

“We are in the midst of delivering on our agenda to address the problems that people face in their daily lives. That’s why we were elected. That’s what we ran on. And that’s what we’re doing.”