NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Parents re-entering the work force may soon get help from New York City.
A new bill introduced on Tuesday would provide free job training to parents trying to get back to work.
Four-years-ago Erica Cohen quit her job as an attorney to care for her daughter.
Now, the Brooklyn mother says re-entering the work force in a different field has been extremely difficult.
“I don’t know the technology that’s there now. I just have a big gap in my resume. I don’t know how to explain that to employers,” Cohen told CBS2’s Elise Finch.
New York City Council member Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would help Cohen and other parents get free training to re-enter the work force.
It’s called the ‘Back To Work Bill’ and it’s co-sponsored by Kallos, Laurie Cumbo, and Robert Cornegy.
The legislation would expand the city’s existing Workforce1 job training centers to include resources specifically designed for parents.
“What we’re asking Workforce1 to do is get them skills training they need for free and help them find a position at a company that will welcome someone who is a parent,” Kallos said.
Enrique Santiago supports the bill wholeheartedly. The Manhattan father said Workforce1 helped him get back to work as a telephone programmer after he got laid off.
“You let a good span go by and they don’t want to hire you because now technology moved up,” Santiago said.
There was no word on how much the bill will cost the city, but New Yorkers told CBS2 that whatever the amount it will be worth it.
“I think it can be helpful for a lot of people, not only women but men as well because you have single fathers out there trying to do their best,” Betty Walker said,
“I think something like this would be crucial for parents to be able to have an idea, have the confidence and get back into the workforce,” Gina Dadan said.
The ‘Back To Work Bill’ has already been referred to a committee and supporters hope it will be passed by the end of the year.
The bill was introduced on Tuesday to cap off Women’s History Month. Research shows that when women take time off from their jobs for family related reasons it damages their careers more than their male counterparts.
Sponsors say the bill is a step towards gender equality.