Committee members visit a career and technical education program in Arlington, Va., earlier this summer.
Committee members visit a career and technical education program in Arlington, Va., earlier this summer.
August 20, 2016 1:45 PM CDT

Committee Unanimously Approves Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Career and Technical Education

Perkins Act Passed by House Committee

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On July 7, 2016, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Introduced by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA), the legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs. The bill passed the committee by a vote of 37 to 0.

“I deeply appreciate the support of my colleagues on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for this thoughtful legislation, which will bring our nation’s career and technical education system into the 21st century,” Rep. Thompson said. “We have witnessed the increased growth in career and technical education since the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act was passed unanimously by Congress in 2006. As co-chair of the House Career and Technical Education Caucus, I consider the Committee’s approval of this bipartisan bill to be a landmark step towards closing our nation’s skills gap and empowering students pursuing careers in vital technical fields.”

“Some of our most important investments are our investments in our students and our workforce,” Rep. Clark said. “The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act ensures career and technical education programs are flexible enough to adapt to the needs of new industries, accountable to ensure every child has a chance to succeed, and robust to provide support for our educators. I am proud to say this bill is the product of Democrats and Republicans putting partisanship aside and working together to do the right thing for our students.”

“Today, we’ve taken another important step to ensure every American has access to the skills and education they need to compete in the workforce,” Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. “Career and technical education has placed countless individuals on the path to success, and this bipartisan legislation will empower more individuals to follow that same path. It includes numerous reforms to prepare students for high-demand jobs that exist today, not the jobs that existed years ago. I want to thank my Republican and Democrat colleagues, especially Representatives Thompson and Clark, for working together to strengthen career and technical education and to help more Americans succeed in the workforce.”

“Each and every student should have access to high-quality career and technical education programs that provide the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA). “While successful CTE programs must meet labor market needs, they must also work for students. This bill will ensure that students, especially historically disadvantaged and underserved students, are prepared for success in high-demand jobs that offer living wages, employer benefits, and opportunities for meaningful career advancement. H.R. 5587 also maintains the vital role of the federal government in oversight and enforcement for program quality, improvement, and equity for all students.”

To learn more about H.R. 5587, click here.


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