Langevin, Thompson Encourage White House to Support Career and Technical Education

Mar 7, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Education

U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) on Monday sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump to highlight the important role career and technical education can play in bringing American workers into the 21st Century and closing the skills gap.

“Our country can – and must – do better to help Americans recognize their potential to succeed. As you prepare to work with the Office of Management and Budget to set your spending priorities for Fiscal Year 2018, we ask that you take into consideration the opportunity we have to make a difference in the lives of students, workers and employers by making CTE programs a priority,” Thompson and Langevin wrote.

Thompson and Langevin are co-chairs of the bipartisan House Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus and authors of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill that passed the House last year by a vote of 405-5 but never saw action in the Senate.

The Congressmen stated that supporting CTE programs will increase the amount of trained and qualified individuals in the American workforce, especially in the skilled trade industries. In February, 85 CTE advocacy groups and businesses asked Thompson and Langevin to continue their efforts to modernize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act under President Donald J. Trump. Updating the Perkins Act would ensure more Americans could enter the workforce with the skills needed to fulfill in-demand jobs, they said.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee last week hosted a hearing titled “Providing More Students a Pathway to Success by Strengthening Career and Technical Education.” It featured several witnesses – including Mike Rowe, the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and TV host of “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” – who discussed how CTE programs help prepare students for successful careers and meet the economic needs of communities and industries across the country.

“Not only does CTE benefit students of all ages, it also makes things easier for employers by ensuring workforce readiness in their hiring pools,” Thompson said. “I look forward to working with Rep. Langevin and the Trump administration to make career and technical education a priority this Congress. CTE programs work to develop America’s most valuable resource – its people.”

“I am proud to work with Rep. Thompson and my colleagues in Congress to expand and modernize CTE, and I hope President Trump will join this bipartisan effort,” Langevin said. “Across the nation, employers are struggling to find qualified workers for high-skill, high-paying jobs, and CTE helps train students for these positions. Supporting CTE is a necessary investment in our nation’s economy.”

Thompson and Langevin plan to reintroduce a reauthorization of the Perkins Act later this month.