WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today announced that Congress has passed the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act of 2017 (H.R. 228). The legislation, introduced by Representative Don Young (R-AK), improves and makes permanent a comprehensive Native employment and training program.
“This bill will help spur economic development and investment in Indian Country,” said Hoeven. “It enhances and expands a successful workforce development initiative, the 477 program, which empowers tribal communities with the resources and flexibility necessary to develop locally tailored employment and training plans. I want to thank Representative Young and Senators Murkowski and Sullivan for championing this bill and working to get it passed.”
“I am proud the Senate has recognized the importance of the 477 program to support self-sufficiency, create jobs, and expand employment opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives nationwide,” said Murkowski. “The program has proven to be an innovative and effective tool in providing education and training opportunities aimed to improve the quality of life in every region of my home state of Alaska. I thank Chairman Hoeven for his leadership and working with Senator Sullivan and myself to get this across the finish line.”
The bill passed the House of Representatives in February. Murkowski, alongside Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), introduced a Senate companion bill, which cleared the Senate Indian Affairs Committee earlier this year.