Section 1A. It is hereby found and declared that:
There exists in the commonwealth a critical shortage of training and education programs necessary to meet the growing needs of business and industry for skilled employees and the corresponding needs of our people for opportunities for new or more rewarding employment.
As a result of this shortage, business and industry is unable to obtain sufficient numbers of qualified employees for continued operation and expansion within the commonwealth, of our people, particularly those who are victims of economic dislocation, and those minority and economically disadvantaged groups, are denied significant and substantial employment opportunities.
The loss of economic and employment activity from the commonwealth contributes to a decline in the tax base, leads to unemployment and underemployment of our people, causes an increase in welfare and unemployment costs, and constitutes a threat to the general welfare of the entire commonwealth.
This shortage is occasioned by the inability of educational institutions to secure the resources necessary for the development and substantial expansion of programs of skills training and education which are consistent with employment need;
Business and industry is the primary source of employment information, technical assistance and financial support required for such program development and expansion;
Business and industry supports educational institutions, through increased and more comprehensive relationships of cooperation and assistance, is necessary to enable educational institutions to meet the needs of business and industry for skilled employees and the needs of our people for new or more rewarding employment opportunities;
Educational institutions are unable to attract sufficient support from business and industry within the limits of their existing resources and through the normal operation of the private enterprise system.
It is an important function of government to increase opportunities for gainful employment, to assist in promoting a productive and expanding economy, to encourage the flow of business and industry support to educational institutions, and otherwise to improve the prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of the commonwealth.
Therefore, it is found that it is in the public interest of the commonwealth to promote the prosperity and general welfare of its citizens, a public purpose for which public money may be expended, to encourage and facilitate the formation of comprehensive cooperative relationships between business and industry and educational institutions which provide for the development and significant expansion of programs of skills training and education consistent with employment needs, and to make interested individuals aware of the employment opportunities presented thereby.