As you may know, one of my top priorities is promoting CTE and STEM programs as a way to cultivate skillsets needed in today’s workforce and connect students with good-paying jobs. Recently, Congress and the White House have taken a number of concrete steps to invest in workforce development.
This week, with my full support, the bi-partisan bill to modernize and authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act cleared both chambers of Congress. The Perkins CTE program controls over $1 billion in grants for federal, state, and local CTE programs.
Now, likely to be signed into law by the President, this bill makes critical reforms that I’ve been advocating for as I visited with students, teachers, school officials, and businesses across the First District. Our reforms include:
- Expanding access to career and technical education programs
- Helping schools create partnerships with the business community so students can cultivate skills in demand by the labor market
- Improving and modernizing schools’ career and technical education programs
- Giving states and localities more control over how to spend career and technical education dollars
Last week, the President signed an executive order establishing a national council designed to reinvigorate America’s workforce. Currently, businesses across America are facing a severe talent shortage due to a lack of vocational education and technical training. This new council will work with the private sector, along with state and local governments, to fill this gap. I’m thrilled to see the White House working to create opportunities for students to succeed.
Workforce opportunities in STEM and technical education fields are growing exponentially and jobs related to STEM are expected to rise by more than 9 million through 2022. It is our responsibility to prepare students for the demands of our current society and to provide unemployed Americans with an outlet to reintegrate into the workforce.
While these achievements represent significant progress, I will continue working to bridge the skills gap here in the First District.
Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime an issue that concerns you comes before the House. It is an honor to serve you and the First District in the People’s House.