Latest International Job Creation Policy Menu
The Center for American Progress and the Just Jobs Network will periodically update our International Job Creation Policy Menu when new information or new entrants are added. This is our first update.
Economies around the world will need to create well more than 600 million new jobs over the next decade if they are going to stem unemployment and provide work for new entrants into the global labor market.
Policymakers are tackling unemployment in different ways but are often unaware of solutions other countries are pursuing. This policy menu of options attempts to bridge that gap by highlighting job creation ideas from select advanced and developing economies.
Our global menu of progressive policy options to get people back to work was assembled from stimulus packages, growth plans, and ministry reports from the Americas to Asia. Most of these policies were proposed or enacted after the global economic downturn of 2008. This menu is not an endorsement of any particular set of policies. Rather, our aim is to provide a resource for policymakers to survey the variety of job creation ideas being proposed around the globe. We break down our analysis of the options according to actions taken in certain industrial and company sectors as well as by age and gender and other categories.
- Growth Acceleration Program, or PAC (the Portuguese acronym): A government program that will increase spending on infrastructure projects.
- PAC I: Launched in 2007 and expanded as part of the stimulus package that Brazil’s government adopted after the 2008 financial crisis. It spent $235 billion through 2010. The expansion of PAC I accounted for 24.3 percent of the total stimulus package.
- PAC II: Will spend $526 billion between 2011 and 2014 and an additional $346 billion after the World Cup in 2014.
PAC consists of six programs:
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Special credit lines for small and medium-sized enterprises: Provided by the Bank of Brazil after the 2008 financial crisis. Original $2.7 billion working capital credit line was increased to $5.8 billion in 2009. Allowed 303,000 small and medium-sized enterprises to fund working capital.
- Brazilian government also directed $251 million to loan-guarantee programs that allowed state-owned banks to increase their lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Stimulus Agriculture Funds: The Brazilian stimulus package included $6.5 billion to support the agricultural sector. This included using $150 million from the Workers’ Protection Fund (Fundo de Amparo ao Trabalhador) for family agriculture.
- Bolsa Familia: One of the largest conditional cash transfer programs in the world. The government expanded the program in 2009 by $206 million to help 1.3 million additional families and an estimated 310,000 workers. According to a 2007 study, the program has reduced the probability of employed women leaving their jobs by 8 percent.
- Minimum wage increases: In 2009 the minimum wage rose 12 percent and in 2010 it rose an additional 9.7 percent. The 2009 increase led the economy to expand by $42 billion, or 0.7 percent of GDP. Twenty percent of the population benefited from the 2009 increase. The expansion potentially created or saved 1.3 million jobs.
- Industrial Production Tax: This tax was cut on motor vehicles run on flexible fuels or ethanol. The International Labor Organization estimates that this saved 50,000 to 60,000 jobs.
- 2008 stimulus package: A two-year, 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) infrastructure stimulus package that was launched in November 2008. It consisted of the following investments:
- Research from the National Development and Reform Commission estimates that the stimulus created 5.6 million new long-term jobs and nearly 50 million temporary positions during the construction of the projects.
- Vocational training: The National Development and Reform Commission announced a special program to increase vocational training for migrant workers, college graduates, and laid-off workers in 2009 and 2010.
- Xinjiang employment training program: Xinjiang regional government will spend 850 million yuan on a program to offer jobs in government and state-owned enterprises to students who finish government-sponsored training and return home.
- Participants are among 60,000 educated young people—80 percent of them Uygurs—who haven’t been able to find stable jobs in Xinjiang, even after graduating from universities and polytechnic colleges.
- State Mechanism to Promote Gender Equality and Development of Women: Government white paper outlining China’s development goals for women and commitment to fulfilling U.N. Millennium Development Goals related to gender equality.
- Free job training: About 1.5 million people in the Liaoning province, including 700,000 rural migrants, received free job training in one of 96 fields between 2005 and 2009.
- Green Certificate Training Program for Peasants: Program launched in 1990 that focuses on teaching agricultural and animal husbandry techniques to farmers. By 2002 it trained 13 million farmers—providing green certificates to 6 million participants.
- According to some sample surveys, farmers with “green certificates” earn 30 percent more than those without certificates (2002 estimates).
- National Training Program for Migrant Farmers: Proposed program (2003–2010) that would provide introductive training for 50 million farmers, vocational and technical training for 30 million farmers, and job training for 200 million farmers who were transferred to nonagricultural sectors.
- French Economic Stimulus Plan: Called for 11 billion euros in spending on direct state investment and an additional 4 billion euros to help state-owned firms modernize rail, energy, and other infrastructure. Enacted in 2009 in response to the global economic downturn.
- Operation Campus: Will target expanding, upgrading, and modernizing French universities. Construction will begin in 2012 and the program will cost $5 billion.
- Broadband for All: Will expand broadband Internet access at affordable prices to all metropolitan areas. By 2020 the aim is to have ultrafast Internet access available to all of France.
- The National Territorial Revitalization Fund: Program that began in 2009 that provides unsecured loans to support industrial revitalization.
- PTZ+: Program provides interest-free loans to first-time homebuyers for up to the first 40 percent of a home’s price. The figure may be adjusted upward for more energy efficient homes.
- Sustainable Development Tax Credit: Funds energy efficiency upgrades of residential properties. About 4.2 million homes, or two out of three homes built before 1975, were modernized through the credit.
- French National Reform Programme: Program running from 2011 to 2014 that includes a number of policies designed to increase youth employment.
- The Student Entrepreneurs program: Encourages young people in higher education institutions to become entrepreneurs and start small businesses. It allows for the creation of student startup clusters that partner higher education institutions with the business community.
- Apprenticeship reform: Apprenticeship contracts have been reformed and expanded along with the contrat de professionalisation that targets the transition from education to the workforce. Benefits given to young people on apprenticeship contracts were changed to give them the same rights access as people enrolled in higher education.
- Tax changes: France reformed the apprenticeship tax to encourage employers to take on more apprentices. There is a one-year exemption from social security contributions for small and medium-sized enterprises that hire an additional young person on work-study contracts over the previous year. The government increased support for the contrat d’autonomie program that provides support for youths from urban areas.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Investments for the Future: Program provides funding for small and medium-sized enterprises to conduct research and development activities.
- OSEO: Assists small and medium-sized enterprise growth and innovation activities. An increased amount of aid is to be directed to risky projects with breakthrough innovation potential. New startup companies in innovative fields will also be exempt from social insurance and other taxes.
- National Seed Capital Fund: Will work with private venture capital funds to support the creation of new businesses. The legal code was also reformed to include the status of self-entrepreneur and limited liability individual entrepreneur. Self-entrepreneur status simplifies business registration. 680,000 people filed as self-entrepreneurs in 2010.
- The limited liability individual entrepreneur protection allows people to separate business assets pledged to creditors and personal assets for up to three years.
- The Charter for Equality: Requires universities to adopt gender-focused equality policies for human resources, student affairs, training, and research. Other legislation requires women to make up at least 40 percent of the membership of companies’ boards of directors. Firms that do not comply with equal opportunity laws are now subject to a 1 percent tax on earnings.
- Improving daycare: France aims to create 200,000 new daycare places by the end of 2012. The government’s Family Department will invest 1.5 billion euros in the project. This will create jobs and free caregivers to participate in the formal sector.
- Agricultural Modernisation Act, or LMAP: Aims to increase the bargaining rights of producers (farmers) relative to distributors. It requires written contracts between producers and buyers. Directs funds raised through selling vacant state-owned land to assist young aspiring farmers acquire their own land.
- INNOVATIONS: Initiative with a 2 million euro budget that aims to improve the performance of newly established farms and fund innovative projects that generate employment.
- Innovation clusters: France is in the process of merging universities with the goal of creating research and higher education clusters to improve innovation.
- CIFRE contracts: Will promote doctoral students by letting them use their thesis as professional experience. French schools are also expanding their science and math education programs through the New Ambition for Science and Technology in the School program.
- Professional transition contract: Program that allows employees who are about to become redundant to receive support allowances and training for up to 12 months. Beneficiaries receive a professional transition allowance equal to 80 percent of their pay.
- In 2010 more than 15,000 people used the program and 48 percent of the people who used the program but for whom the benefits have expired resumed long-term employment.
- Investments for the Future: Totaling 35 billion euros across a range of programs, directs funds to spur research and development.
- France Brevets Patent Fund: 100 million euro investment fund created in 2010 to support patent promotion and industrialization. Bureaucracies are also being redesigned to create regional directorates for business competition, consumption, labor, and employment.
- Fifth Energy Research Program: Funded renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and transmission technology. The program’s budget was 733 million euros and it expired in December 2011.
- Stimulus bills: Germany included investment measures worth about 18 billion euros in two stimulus bills that responded to the 2008 financial crisis.
- Included a 10-year broadband initiative that looks to bring broadband access at 50 Mbps or above to 75 percent of households by 2014.
- Dual System of Vocational Training: Vocational skills with generally recognized standards help young people transition into the labor market and contribute to low youth unemployment in Germany. Apprentices in the dual system take courses in the workplace and at public vocational schools, where they learn general subjects and the theoretical basics of their chosen trade or occupation. Apprentices enter a training contract with the company and become employees until the end of the training program. Their wages are set by collective bargaining.
- Educational Chain (Bildungsketten): Program that provides 1,000 career-start coaches to help 30,000 young people navigate their way into the working world. Coaches help young people complete education and training programs and work to reduce the dropout rate.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Gründercoaching Deutschland: Program that helps unemployed people become entrepreneurs by providing business, financial, and organizational advice. The program began in October 2008 and will expire at the end of 2013.
- German Microloan Fund: Provides loan guarantees to new businesses and was established in late 2009 with 100 million euros.
- Foreign Trade and Investment Campaign: Initiative that began in 2010 to support international economic activities of German firms, prioritizing small and medium-sized enterprises. Looks to cut red tape, promote foreign trade in the health care industry, launch a security technology export initiative, and target knowledge-intensive sectors.
- Local Alliance for Families: Brings together political, business, and social communities to help parents find ways to balance family life with careers. The program has established more than 600 alliances.
- Good Work for Single Parents: Increases the employment opportunities and earning potential for single parents by providing funding to put single parents on the path to greater participation in the labor market. The program supports 78 different projects and will expire at the end of 2012.
- Federal Initiative for the Equal Treatment of Women in Business and Industry: Promotes female employment in mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, and technology. Includes programs to reduce or prevent the loss of skills by people who take parental leave.
- Vocational Reintegration as a Perspective: Program that aims to help women and their partners return to the workforce after a leave of absence. It provides vocational training to assist in the transition back into the labor market. It is in pilot form until March 2012 when it will be considered for extension.
- Skilled Workers of the Future: Taskforce that seeks to counteract impending shortages of workers with in-demand skills. The taskforce identifies where more skilled workers are needed and ways to promote skill development.
- Job Monitor: An instrument being developed by the federal government to help identify future demand for labor. A report to be released in Q1 2013 will track trends and developments in the labor market.
- ShowMi: Project that helped immigrant workers develop the language skills they need to succeed in the labor market. The project produced language explorer tools in 18 languages and ended in October 2011.
- Early Opportunities Initiative: Provides 400 million euros to hire language and integration specialists for 4,000 daycare facilities by early 2012.
- Civic Work model project: Helps needy people that are unemployed but capable of working by putting them in public interest jobs. Project began in July 2010 and will run through 2014.
- Kurzarbeit: Work-sharing program that helped keep 1.5 million people employed as output sank. Workers took fewer hours so more people could stay on the job and skilled workers did not leave the labor force. The government paid 67 percent of monthly net income for hours not worked and reimbursed employers’ social security contributions from the seventh month of short-time work. Companies that provided training were exempted from social security contributions during that time. The German model of co-determination—employee participation in the company’s decision-making processes through different forms of representation in the supervisory and management boards of companies—makes programs such as “Kurzarbeit” possible and contributes to long-term economic success, higher productivity, innovation, and stable employment.
- Xenos – Integration and Diversity: Program that targets integrating migrants into the labor force by breaking down xenophobic barriers and promoting integration and diversity. First round of funding—130 million euros—was used to fund 252 projects across Germany.
- School to Work: Proposed program to upgrade the skills of the minimally educated workers leaving the agricultural sector for other sectors.
- India’s 11th Five-Year Plan says the country has room to create 24.5 million manufacturing jobs from 2006 to 2017 by providing sufficient training.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- National Manufacturing Policy: Program that aims to create 100 million jobs in manufacturing by 2022 and increase manufacturing share of national output. Several of the proposed provisions promote small and medium-sized enterprises:
- Access to a patent pool and/or partial reimbursement of technology acquisitions. The Times of India reported in September 2011 that the patent pool would have 15 billion rupees and would either provide up to 15 percent of the cost of plant and machinery or a five-year, interest-free loan for up to 50 percent of the acquisition or transfer of technology.
- A 25 percent grant (with a cap of 100,000 rupees) to cover the costs of environmental and water audits.
- Rollover relief from the capital gains tax on individuals who sell a residential property and use the proceeds to finance investment in new manufacturing equipment or businesses.
- Stock exchange for small and medium-capitalized companies.
- Creation of a government-backed service organization that would file compliance documents for small and medium-sized enterprises who pay into the program. This would make compliance more efficient and reduce the need for compliance staff at small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Women’s Vocational Training Programme: Has worked to increase female participation in the formal sector since 1977 by providing training at women-only institutes.
- Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme: Supports employment in rural areas through self-employment ventures and micro lending schemes.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: Rural jobs program passed in 2005 that provides a legal guarantee of 100 days paid work per year to adults of rural households. The program provided employment for 52.5 million households in 2009-2010, according to the International Labour Organisation.
- Minimum wage increase: Government raised the national floor level minimum wage in April 2011 to 115 rupees per day from 100 rupees per day. The change will increase the purchasing power of minimum-wage workers. But states do not have to follow the floor level wage and India has no national minimum wage.
- National Manufacturing Policy: Aims to create 100 million jobs in manufacturing by 2022 and proposes opening the sector to foreign direct investment. As of February 2012 it is not yet operational.
- Calls for creating National Investment and Manufacturing Zones to improve domestic manufacturing sector.
- The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimates the National Manufacturing Policy will raise GDP growth by 15 percent to 25 percent.
- The New Growth Path: Economic growth plan launched in 2010 laying out a plan to create 5 million jobs over the next 10 years and reduce unemployment from 25 percent to 15 percent.
- Targets creation of 250,000 jobs per year in infrastructure (energy/transportation/ water/communications) and housing through 2015.
- Proposes the increase of local procurement through capacity development and regulatory change. Program will look to develop models to encourage labor-intensive construction where viable.
- Expanded Public Works Programmes: Program launched in April 2004 that creates short-term jobs with infrastructure, social, environmental, and community projects. Overall expenditure is budgeted at R73 billion over the next three years and the program has created 1 million short-term jobs since 2009.
- Jobs Fund: Fund created in 2011 to support public and private projects, especially for younger workers. The Jobs Fund is a R9 billion employment creation program managed by the Development Bank of South Africa projected to create 115,226 jobs.
- Youth employment subsidy: Proposed wage subsidy that would compensate employers for taking on young employees and offset costs of skill development and training.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Support Program for Industrial Innovation, or SPII: Competitive grant program that provides financial assistance for the development of commercially viable innovative products.
- SPII Matching Scheme: A small and medium-sized enterprise financial assistance program providing a nonrepayable grant of up to R3 million for technical development.
- SPII Partnership Scheme: Conditionally repayable grant program that for larger companies and covers 50 percent of qualifying costs incurred in development activity.
- Isavinde Women’s Fund: Fund that provides loans between R30,000 and R2 million to finance women-owned/managed enterprises that have been in operation for at least two years.
- Bavumile: Proposed program aimed at helping South African women design, produce, and manufacture cultural products that are commercially viable in local and international markets.
- Smallholder assistance: The New Growth Path proposes land reform to support smallholder schemes with comprehensive support around infrastructure, marketing, and extension to support growth in commercial farming. Targets 300,000 households in smallholder schemes and 145,000 jobs in agro-processing by 2020.
- Training Layoff Scheme: In 2009—in response to the global economic downturn—the National Skill Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund allocated R2.4 billion to subsidize the temporary suspension of work in favor of training.
- Black Business Supplier Development Program: Cost-sharing grant program offered to black-owned small enterprises that provides a maximum grant of R1 million to improve competitiveness and sustainability.
- Enterprise Investment Programme, or EIP: Program launched in 2008 to provide sector-specific financing to encourage growth in key areas of the South African economy. Includes the Manufacturing Investment Programme and the Tourism Support Program. Created 10,211 direct jobs from April–December 2010.
- Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme: Program launched in May 2012 that provides production and distressed funding support to boost productivity and competitiveness, raise investment, and create jobs. Investment in capital (machinery, plant, and equipment), product development, process redesign, standards accreditation, and feasibility and marketing studies qualify for the incentive. The program is aimed at labor-intensive industries.
- National Infrastructure Plan: The £200 billion ($320 billion) National Infrastructure Plan launched in October 2010 to rebuild the country’s economy and expand the private sector. The plan includes funding for expanding commercial and commuter rail lines, improving roads and highways, and installing superfast broadband Internet access.
- Green Investment Bank: A bank to provide public support for investment in green infrastructure. It was started with an initial capital level of £3 billion with which it can make and guarantee loans to private-sector businesses investing in green technology and infrastructure.
- Green Deal: A program that enables households and businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures for no upfront cost. The increased demand will potentially create 100,000 new jobs.
- FirstBuy: A program that supports the home-building industry by assisting more than 10,000 first-time buyers with shared equity programs so they can purchase newly built properties at reasonable rates.
- Young Person’s Job Guarantee Program: A program that ran from October 2009 through May 2011 that guaranteed a job, work placement, or skills training to all youth ages 18 to 24 who had been unemployed for six months. More than 200,000 young people received assistance through the program. The program consisted of the Future Jobs Fund, which funded new jobs; the Community Task Force, which provided jobs in community-focused employment; the Routes into Work Pre-Employment Training scheme, which provided jobs and training in industries such as retail, hospitality, and tourism; and the Work Focused Training scheme, which provided training for certificates in various sectors.
- Apprenticeships: The 2011 budget allocated £1.4 billon for 50,000 additional apprenticeships through 2015. About 40,000 of the new slots will support unemployed youth, and the remaining 10,000 will focus on increasing employment in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Enterprise Finance Guarantee: Launched in 2009, the program guarantees 75 percent of a small or medium-sized enterprise’s bank loan in exchange for a 2 percent premium. This program is open to companies with less than £41 million in annual sales. More than 18,000 loans have been offered through the program at total value of at least £1.88 billion. Loans from £1,000 to £1 million are available and repayable over 10 years. These measures have been extended until 2013 and will guarantee the loans of about 6,000 small businesses each year.
- Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee: The program, suspended in June 2012, provided government guarantees for export finance to small businesses. The uptake was not as high as the government had hoped due to overly complicated application procedures.
- Enterprise Capital Funds: Government-backed venture capital funds were launched to invest in fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises. Since the establishment of the main company, Capital for Enterprise Limited, in April 2008, two new funds have been started. A total of £239 million were distributed by the Capital Enterprise Funds by December 2010.
- New Enterprise Allowance: Mentoring and financial support for up to 40,000 people who are starting their own businesses and have been unemployed for more than six months. The plan includes loans to help with start-up costs and a weekly allowance for the first year of business.
- Exporting for Growth Prize: The program offered prizes for first-time small and medium-sized enterprise exporters. The firms were eligible for a prize aimed at rewarding excellence and inspiring other countries to export for growth.
- Enterprise Investment Scheme: The government expanded the tax relief individual investors can claim for equity investments in small and medium-sized enterprises. The government reformed in scheme in 2011 by raising the income tax relief to 30 percent and bringing forward proposals to provide further support for seed investment.
- Aspire Fund: A £12.5 million fund established in 2008. The Aspire Fund was created to encourage women-led businesses to seek appropriate equity finance.
- Farm and Forestry Improvement Scheme: Provides small grants between £2,500 and £25,000 to farm, forestry, and horticulture businesses for energy efficiency, water and nutrient management, animal welfare, and forestry projects. About £20 million is available for the program through December 2013.
- Rural Growth Networks: £15 million was invested in five new Rural Growth Networks across the country to enable businesses to reach potential by breaking down barriers to economic growth such as slow Internet connection and fragmented business networks. More than 3,000 jobs and 700 businesses were expected to be created.
- Rural Community Broadband Fund: Provides grants to communities in the hardest-to-reach areas in each county for easier access to superfast broadband services. The £20 million fund is a part of the Rural Development Programme for England.
- Work Programme: Launched in June 2011, this program supports the long-term unemployed and those who are especially at risk of becoming long-term unemployed. The program replaced previous programs that were fragmented and had poor incentives. The new program emphasizes payment for results and gives new freedoms to service providers. Early data show that nearly 50 percent of people that began the program found a job at least temporarily, and that 14 percent of people that began the program had found continuous employment for 26 weeks.
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: $840 billion stimulus package enacted in 2009 that included a mix of spending in infrastructure, energy, education, tax benefits, and entitlements. The Council for Economic Advisers estimates that the Recovery Act raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.2 million and 4.2 million jobs.
- American Jobs Act: Job creation legislation proposed by the Obama administration in 2011 that combines tax cuts, spending measures, and infrastructure modernization programs. It has not been passed into law but Macroeconomics Advisers predicted that its measures would have the combined effect of boosting the level of U.S. gross domestic product by 1.3 percent by the end of 2012, and by 0.2 percent by the end of 2013. That analysis also said the proposed law would raise nonfarm employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013. The legislation includes:
- National Infrastructure Bank: Bank for funding road, rail, airport, and waterway improvement. Funded with an initial $10 billion, the bank would identify transportation, energy, and water infrastructure projects that lack funding, offer a clear benefit for taxpayers, and are worth at least $100 million ($25 million for a rural project).
- Project Rebuild: Neighborhood revitalization program to put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses, and communities.
- National Wireless Initiative: Program to expand access to high-speed Internet.
- Home Star Energy Retrofit Act: House of Representatives passed a bill that provides incentives for consumers to make their homes energy efficient and would create an estimated 168,000 jobs in construction, manufacturing, and retail. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance in May 2010 and has not been passed.
- Back to Work Minnesota: A proposed state program that would retrofit public and private buildings throughout Minnesota to create jobs, reduce energy consumption, and save money for taxpayers and businesses. The initiative was announced in October 2011 and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) continues to push for the program with business leaders and government officials.
- American Jobs Act:
- Pathways Back to Work Fund: Fund to support youth and low-income employment in growth industries through summer and year-round jobs, subsidized employment opportunities, and local training initiatives. Proposed as part of the American Jobs Act—which has not been passed into law.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
- Startup America: White House initiative to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship by helping businesses grow and access capital more efficiently.
- Impact Investment Fund: The Small Business Administration launched the first Impact Investment Fund in Michigan, providing up to $130 million in capital to high-growth businesses.
- Early-Stage Innovation Fund: $1 billion Early-Stage Innovation Fund proposed a set of regulations for public comment on December 9, 2011. Comment period closed on February 7, 2012.
- Make it in America: Legislative initiative comprised of a cross-section of bills that would provide tax credits to small businesses to help them hire new employees and sell their products abroad. The legislation encourages domestic innovation and improves on the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
- The Small Business Jobs Act: Signed into law in 2010, the act gave small businesses $12 billion in tax cuts and leveraged $300 billion in private-sector lending to help these businesses expand/invest. At the time of signing, Democrats estimated the incentives could create 500,000 new jobs.
- Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program: The program helps small and medium-sized manufactures find new customer bases, discover new markets, and develop new products. The program has a network of 60 help centers around the country. Every year, for just more than $100 million, the program generates $3.6 billion in new sales and helps maintain or create more than 71,000 jobs.
- Rural Energy Savings Program Act: Loans to families and farmers in rural communities to renovate their homes or farms to become more energy efficient. In 2010 the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
- Retrain for Work Act: Proposed bill would look to retrain the unemployed. Those who currently receive unemployment checks would be required to enroll in a state-certified job retraining program; continuing education such as high school, college, or a General Educational Development, or GED, credential program; or a state-recognized career and technical education program.
- SECTORS Act of 2011: Proposed bill that would allow the Department of Labor to award competitive grants of up to $2.5 million to improve worker training, retention, and advancement. The bill is under consideration in the first part of the legislative process.
- AMERICA Works Act: Proposed bill would ensure workforce-training programs are teaching to the needs of employers and workers can convey their expertise to employers in any state. A hearing was requested on the bill in October 2011.
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Extended Trade Adjustment Assistance to 160,000 workers who lost their jobs because of increased imports and factory shifts to foreign countries.
- America COMPETES Reauthorization Act: Doubles funding for scientific research, and allows directed Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers to inform local community colleges of the skill sets needed by local manufacturers. In January 2012 the Commerce Department released the mandated report on the Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States.
- International Tourism Facilitation Act: Would alleviate wait times for international travelers to receive U.S. visas by allowing the State Department flexibility to streamline processing services, increasing tourist revenue without compromising security.
- Asia Pacific Economic Conference, or APEC, Business Travel Card Act: Would allow business leaders from the United States and senior government officials actively engaged in APEC business to receive APEC Business Travel Cards, or ABTCs, to expedite international travel in the 21 APEC countries.
- National Manufacturing Strategy Act: Would require a comprehensive analysis of U.S. manufacturing every four years and direct the president to submit a National Manufacturing Strategy to Congress.
- Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act: Would develop and implement a National Clean Energy Export Strategy to help American businesses export clean energy technology.
- U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act: Would help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad through more than 600 tariff suspensions and reductions on intermediate products or materials these companies use that are not made domestically.
- Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program: Looks to accelerate the deployment of clean energy programs.
- Cash for Clunkers: Completed program that reduced emissions and provided a stimulus to the U.S. auto industry by paying up to $4,500 to people who traded in their old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.
- Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy: Modeled on the successful Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E funds creative energy research and helps connect basic energy research to industrial innovation. Project funding lasts one to three years with the goal that successful projects are continued with private-sector funding. Since being founded in 2009, ARPA-E has awarded $363 million to various projects. As of April 2011 ARPA-E provided funding for 121 projects.
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