Business Leaders Urge Senate to Pass Career and Technical Ed Bill | Business Roundtable

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CEOs Applaud House Passage, Call on Senate to Pass Perkins Reauthorization

Washington – America’s business leaders today praised bipartisan House passage of a bill to modernize and reauthorize career and technical education (CTE) programs and called on the Senate to quickly approve the legislation. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), an update of the Perkins Act, passed the House today by voice vote.

The Perkins Act supports local CTE programs for students and adults seeking to enter the skilled trades. The House bill will make the programs more relevant to the current economy, address the growing “skills gap” faced by employers and more effectively measure outcomes.

“Career and technical education works best at the local level, where people can gain the skills required to succeed in today’s workplace. The updated Perkins Act will help ensure that those programs are effective, meeting the needs of employees and employers alike,” said Wes Bush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee.

“We applaud the House for passing this bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. We urge the Senate to act now and pass Perkins to help more Americans develop the skills needed to take advantage of the jobs available in the U.S. economy.”

Business leaders stressed that, like the bill that passed the House, the Senate bill should reflect key principles identified by Business Roundtable, along with the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

  • CTE must be relevant and meaningful for students.
  • Recipients of Perkins funding must be accountable for results.
  • The business community must be actively engaged in helping to inform and support CTE at the state, regional and local levels.
  • The Perkins Act must provide for state / local innovation and reward excellence.

Business Roundtable CEOs recently highlighted employer efforts to close the skills gap in their companies and communities in Work in Progress – How CEOs Are Helping Close America’s Skills Gap. These efforts include programs in K-12 skill building, postsecondary credentials, worker training and recruiting a diverse workforce. The report included findings from a survey of CEOs on the impact of the skills gap on their companies and industries.

Download a copy of the new CEO report, Work in Progress – How CEOs Are Helping Close America’s Skills Gap, here