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Luria calls on House leadership to invest in workforce training

(© W. Scott McGill –

Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) and Congressman Andy Kim (R-NJ-03) are making a bipartisan effort to urge House Leadership to allocate appropriate funding for workforce training programs that bolster coastal resiliency.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has left our nation in an economic crisis, we must support programs that help workers develop skills needed for high-paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Luria. “Serving Coastal Virginia in Congress, I also know it is critical to promote employment opportunities that improve our community’s ability to withstand the threats of rising sea levels and recurrent flooding. I am pleased to partner with Congressman Kim to advocate for programs that will simultaneously create quality jobs while protecting our Coastal Virginia community from environmental threats.”

“There are so many communities like mine across the country that aren’t just recovering from the coronavirus crisis, they’re recovering from historic floods and storms like Superstorm Sandy,” said Congressman Kim. “We have a chance to address both crises as Congress considers further relief, and we should seize that chance. By investing in resilient infrastructure projects, we can not only put more Americans back to work, we can make sure our communities are built to handle the increase in debilitating storms we see on a regular basis.”

The letter requests funding for workforce training initiatives at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Funding these programs would strengthen and adapt infrastructure to overcome the tests of environmental degradation. Making these investments in our workforce would create quality jobs while protecting our Coastal Virginia community from the threats posed by climate change.

Congresswoman Luria has continued to work across party lines to support initiatives that improve coastal resiliency. Earlier this summer, she cosponsored a bipartisan bill to give the Commonwealth more time to use National Disaster Resilience Competition funds. These funds were allocated toward two projects in Norfolk to help build seawalls, raise roads, and create new parkland to improve recreational activities while mitigating flooding.

Under federal law, Virginia must use these funds by 2022, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to finish these projects by that deadline. This bill would ensure the Commonwealth has ample time to complete these critical projects that will mitigate future risks.