The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are working with the Perkins CTE Coalition to deliver a joint letter urging members of Congress to support legislation to successfully reauthorize the Perkins program.

High-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, supported by the Perkins Act, are an effective tool for improving student outcomes and help prepare both secondary and postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical and employability skills required for successful entry into the workforce. CTE prepares students both for college and careers and is critical to meeting the needs of the 21st century economy.

In 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed “the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” That legislation was a bipartisan effort with very broad support that would have helped our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s work environment. The legislation had overwhelming support, passing the House by a vote of 405-5, but did not receive Senate consideration.

Congress needs to know that employers across the country are reporting moderate to serious shortages of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled positions. Reauthorizing Perkins will help ensure a quality employee pipeline for employers and access to in-demand and high paying jobs for America’s workforce.

We ask that your organization join us in urging Congress to address the shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled positions by reauthorizing the Perkins Act.

This letter is open to all businesses/corporations, business associations, state and local chambers and allied organizations. It is very similar to the letter that received almost 500 signatories in 2016, but is updated for the current Congress.

The deadline for joining is Monday, May 15, 2017 by 12:00pm EDT. Please add your organization’s name today!

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have questions, please contact NAM’s Director, Human Resources Policy Christine Scullion at [email protected] or (202) 637-3133.

Thank You for your support.

Letter to Congress on Supporting Perkins Re-Introduction

April 24, 2017

The Honorable Virginia Foxx, Chairman
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Bobby Scott, Ranking Member
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Lamar Alexander, Chairman
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray, Ranking Member
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Chairman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott and Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

We, the undersigned businesses and organizations, support reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act that will help Americans develop the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.

In 2016, the House of Representatives passed “the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” That legislation was a bipartisan effort that would have helped our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s work environment. While the legislation had overwhelming support, passing the House of Representatives by a vote of 405-5, it did not receive Senate consideration. 

Employers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions. Modernized and relevant career and technical education (CTE) programs, designed with the input of employers and responsive to the needs identified by labor market data, are central to overcoming this skills gap.

CTE is an effective tool for improving student outcomes and helps prepare both secondary and postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical and employability skills required to be successful in the workforce. CTE prepares students both for college and careers and is critical to meeting the needs of this new 21st century economy.

New legislation should focus on areas where improvements can be made to current law, such as:

· Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor market;
· Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
· Increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
· Promote the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials.

These improvements will more effectively spend federal dollars to help our nation’s students acquire the skills that they need and employers are demanding. We urge you to move forward with reauthorization of Perkins Career and Technical Education based on the broadly supported legislation from 2016 and appreciate the ongoing, bipartisan commitment to invest in our nation’s students, workers and economy through the Perkins CTE program.

Sincerely,