Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
On March 31, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) was recognized for his work as a leader of critical workforce development policies in Congress and presented with the 2022 Sentinel Award by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 5,700 organizations. ASAE recognized Rep. Kilmer for his efforts to strengthen and support America’s economy during pandemic recovery – and for his leadership on workforce development initiatives to help Americans get back – and stay – on their feet.
“Congressman Kilmer is actively promoting innovative and critically needed legislation to improve access to career development, such as the myriad professional credentials that associations provide, and to help American workers, professions and industries navigate pandemic recovery. We are grateful for his stewardship,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE.
“I was in high school when the timber industry took it on the chin, and I saw the impact that it had on families in our community. That’s what inspired me to work in economic development professionally before coming to Congress. And it’s why my mission, as a representative, is to create more economic opportunity for more people in more places. We need to have an economy that works better for folks – regardless of what zip code the live in,” said Rep. Kilmer. “That’s why I’ve focused so hard on bipartisan legislation to make sure we give our students and workers a better shot at success. I’m honored to receive this recognition – and I’m grateful for the partnership of associations throughout our country that are focused on strengthening our economy and ensuring we aren’t leaving people behind.”
In 2021, Rep. Kilmer re-introduced two bipartisan, bicameral bills to help workers access skills training, apprenticeships, and professional development programs. The Skills Investment Act would expand Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)—tax advantaged savings accounts for educational expenses—so American workers can use the accounts to pay for skills training, apprenticeships, and professional development. The Skills Renewal Act would create a flexible skills training credit up to $4,000 per person for workers who have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic. This would cover the cost of a wide range of training programs that build skills expected to be in high demand by employers in the coming months.
Rep. Kilmer, a former economic development professional, has received numerous awards for his leadership on workforce development and economic development. In 2019, Rep. Kilmer was presented with the Spirit of Enterprise Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his support for pro-economic, pro-growth policies. He was also awarded the Heroes of Main Street award from the National Retail Federation. In addition, he has earned the Friends of SPEEA award for his advocacy on behalf working people and labor advocates.