U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis of Taylorville and Donald M. Payne of New Jersey have announced that they have introduced the Growing Small Businesses Act, as a part of National Entrepreneurship Week. The Growing Small Businesses Act would encourage federal job training centers to develop entrepreneurial training programs as a strategy for job creation.
The national unemployment rate is currently 6.5 percent and the unemployment rate for state of Illinois is 8.6 percent. Rates are even higher in some counties within the 13th District, including Macon (12.7 percent), Montgomery (11.5 percent), and Christian (10 percent) Counties.
Since 1995, small businesses have generated over 65 percent of the net new jobs, and over 50 percent of the working population is employed by a small business. Currently, the Department of Labor evaluates federal job training centers based on three outcomes: (1) entered employment rate, (2) six months average earnings, and (3) employment retention rate. These performance measures do not account for entrepreneurial courses and business startups, discouraging job training centers from even offering entrepreneurial training programs.
The Growing Small Businesses Act would require the Department of Labor to establish a separate metric for entrepreneurial training within workforce centers and require them to partner with training providers in the area with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs succeed.