Langevin, Thompson Lead Resolution to Recognize February as National Career and Technical Education Month

WASHINGTON – Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, today reintroduced a resolution recognizing February as National CTE Month. National CTE Month highlights the importance of the many successful programs nationwide that create hands-on opportunities for hard working Americans to gain the skills needed to succeed in wide-ranging industries.

“CTE will play a critical role in building a talented workforce for the future and ensuring the nation’s economic comeback as we continue to battle the pandemic,” said Congressman Langevin. “While we take time every February to bring attention to the importance of hands-on learning in putting Americans on a path to rewarding careers, it is especially crucial this year to reinforce the bipartisan support for CTE programs that will help meet the growing demand for skilled talent. I deeply appreciate Congressman Thompson’s partnership and that of dedicated advocates in underscoring the power of CTE to unlock workers’ potential and help rebuild our nation.”

“Career and technical education is helping to bridge our nation’s skills gap and bolster our American workforce,” said Congressman Thompson. “Over the past year, COVID-19 has underscored just how much we rely upon a skilled and trained workforce, and Career and Technical Education Month is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of these essential workers. I'm honored to serve alongside Congressman Langevin as co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus to promote skills-based education."

Spanning health care, information technology, the skilled trades, and more, CTE prepares students of diverse backgrounds and ages for successful careers. In particular, these programs will help meet the need for 3 million workers in designing, building, and operating transportation, housing, utilities, and telecommunications to enhance the country’s infrastructure in the coming years.

"We are proud to support the CTE Month resolution, honoring the learners, educators, supporters and stakeholders who are navigating a challenging time for our education system,” said Executive Director of Advance CTE Kimberly Green. “It has been heartening to see current and former CTE learners on the frontline of the pandemic - as educators, scientists, manufacturers, transportation professionals and healthcare workers. CTE plays a crucial role in helping learners stay engaged in their education, ensuring they are prepared with the knowledge and skills needed no matter what the future economy holds. At the same time, postsecondary CTE is paramount to the upskilling and reskilling for the millions of Americans who are still out of work, preparing them for living-wage and in-demand careers. We appreciate elevating these important issues during CTE Month."   

“ACTE applauds the leadership of Representatives Langevin and Thompson in raising awareness about the many benefits associated with high-quality CTE programs,” said Association for Career and Technical Education Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “In a time of rampant unemployment and fundamental economic shifts due to the pandemic, this resolution acts as a critical reminder of the role CTE can play in our nations recovery.”

Close to 13 million students are enrolled in CTE programs at high schools, career academies, CTE centers, and two-year colleges across the country. Participation in these programs has been tied to greater academic success with better attendance and higher high school graduation rates. Further, research has found that 94 percent of parents favor the expansion of CTE programs to prepare students for employment opportunities. The resolution recognizes the prominence of CTE and encourages mentors and parents to promote CTE as an option for students.

As co-chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, Langevin and Thompson have spearheaded several efforts to strengthen and expand CTE programming. In 2018, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act they led was signed into law making major updates to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act by increasing federal investment in CTE and realigning programs with industry needs to better close the skills gap. In 2019, the co-chairs also introduced the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act aimed to jumpstart the development of CTE curricula that incorporate cybersecurity skills training through a competitive grant program within the Department of Education to incorporate cybersecurity education into new or existing CTE programs for users and maintainers of operational technology.

 

Text of the resolution.