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Congress Passes Bipartisan Workforce Development Bill

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Today, Congress passed the first substantive legislative update to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act since 2006. The new bill, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), passed the House first in September of 2016 and again in June 2017 with wide bipartisan margins. The measure was stalled in the Senate for a year over questions of secretarial authority. After reaching a compromise, the Senate finally approved the bill with unanimous consent on July 23rd, before the final version was adopted by the House by voice vote this afternoon. H.R. 2353 will now be signed into law by President Trump, who already indicated support for its passage in a tweet on Tuesday night. 

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is aimed towards addressing the growing skills gap in the workforce of the United States. There are an estimated 6.6 million unfilled jobs currently in the US in part due to the inability of employers to find workers with the right or necessary skills. H.R. 2353 commits over a $1 billion of funding to several programs geared towards fostering greater partnerships between the federal, state, and local governments, the business community, and educational institutions. The goals of the legislation are a multitude including: aligning career and technical education programs to needs of the labor markets, supporting effective collaboration between stakeholders, increasing opportunities for work-based learning, developing and expanding industry-recognized universal credentials, and improving accountability and transparency for the implementation of the programmatic changes.

For the past five years, IMA-NA has joined with other stakeholders in pushing for a reauthorization and a federal recommitment to career and technical training programs. A diverse but properly trained workforce is necessary for economic stability and growth. We are happy to see H.R. 2353 on the cusp of being signed into law and are looking forward to supporting the development of the workforce of tomorrow. 

Tags:  career and technical training  legislation  perkins reauthorization  workforce development 

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House Passes Career & Technical Education Bill

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, June 22, 2017

This afternoon the House passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) with broad bipartisan support.  The bill is an updated version of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provided federal funding and support for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs on the state and local level. The Perkins bill has unfortunately been left unauthorized for over a decade. As we look at a rapidly approaching gap in our skilled workforce, reinvestment in programs that provide training and education is more important than ever. Last Congressional Session, the House passed a similar bill but the Senate failed to take the issue up. IMA-NA supports the passage of H.R. 2353 and the federal commitment to multiple pathways to education. The bipartisan H.R. 2353 focuses on investment in future generations of the US workforce in four main ways: 

  • Empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
  • Improves alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Increases transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure CTE programs deliver results, empowering parents, students, and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Ensures a limited federal role by reining in the Secretary of Education’s authority, limiting federal intervention, and preventing political favoritism.

 

 Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) issued the following statements upon passage of H.R. 2353 this afternoon:


“Far too many Americans have difficulty accessing the education and skills needed to build a promising career and successful future," Rep. Thompson said. "Jobs are going unfilled as employers face a shortage of skilled workers. Stronger career and technical education programs are exactly what this country needs to prepare our workers for the demands of a 21st century economy and meet the needs of employers. Today, we have handed a win to the American worker. This bipartisan bill puts America on the right path to closing the skills gap and sets our workers up for a future of success.”

“All education is career education," Chairwoman Foxx said. "Our nation’s career and technical education programs prepare many Americans to enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed, and help close our nation’s skills gap. This bipartisan bill opens the door for more innovation in workforce development with the help of community leaders, educational institutions, and private business. We must continue to promote demand-driven workforce development that aligns education with the needs of employers who are anxious to hire American workers.”

To read the bill click here

To read a fact sheet on H.R. 2353 click here

Tags:  bill  committee on education and workforce  education  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate 

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House Education and Workforce Committee Passes Career & Technical Education Bill

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This morning, the House Education and Workforce Committee voted to pass the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (HR 2353) with unanimous bipartisan support. The bill reauthorizes and updates the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act), which provides federal support to state and local career and technical education programs. HR 2353 is nearly identical to legislation passed by the full House during the 114th Congress, HR 5587. During the Committee markup of the bill, both Republican and Democrat alike focused on the need to provide for educational resources to provide individuals opportunities outside the 4 year bacalaureat programs. Almost every Committee member cited the growing skills gap, the existence of high paying jobs in traditional industries, and greater individual choice as incentives to reauthorize and update the Perkins Act. Additionally, the Committee sees this legislation as a step forward in providing for programs built through stakeholder collaboration that are reactive to the needs of industry in the United States. HR 2353 will need to pass the full House before moving to the Senate, as of now a vote is expected some time in June.

As with years past, IMA-NA signed onto a letter supporting the reauthorization of the Perkins Act. The letter has a broad array of signatories that demonstrate the scope of this legislation.  The letter is attached below.

To read the opening statements click here

 Attached Files:

Tags:  115th Congress  bipartisan  committee on education and workforce  Congress  education  legislation  perkins reauthorization 

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Perkins Reauthorization Passes House

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This afternoon the House of Representatives passed the Perkins reauthorization, HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, with broad bipartisan support. The Perkins bill has not been reauthorized in over a decade and is an important federal investment in career and technical education across the United States.  In the current political environment or severe partisanship, it is important to note that HR 5587 passed out of the Education and Workforce Committee unanimously and today passed in the House by a vote of 405-5 (with 22 no votes). IMA-NA has worked with a broad coalition of industry and other stakeholders in support of the Perkins reauthorization and is pleased to note the continued bipartisan support for this measure. Indications seem to be that the bill will move through markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee next week, with the vote likely happening when Congress returns in December.

To read more about HR 5587 click here

Tags:  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate  training  workforce development 

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