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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grove, Harkins Release Report on Tech Ed, Career Readiness

HARRISBURG – State Reps. Seth Grove (R-York County) and Pat Harkins (D-Erie County) released today the final report on career and technical education (CTE) from the House Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness.

“To meet the state’s employment needs, we studied ways to better develop future generations for the workforce which will serve to improve Pennsylvania’s economy while also ensuring good-paying manufacturing jobs stay in the state,” Grove said. “The subcommittee’s report produced one of the most comprehensive CTE reports ever done by a legislative body; our committee reviewed technical and career preparation programs and business partnerships in the state.”

The report is the culmination of seven hearings the select subcommittee, which Grove and Harkins co-chaired, held across Pennsylvania during the 2015-16 legislative session. The bipartisan subcommittee was created by House Resolution 102 of 2015 to study and review the Commonwealth’s career and technical education policy. Eight representatives – five Republicans and three Democrats – made up the subcommittee. Reps. Stan Saylor (R-York County) and James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia) co-chaired the House Education Committee and were ex-officio members of the subcommittee.

Harkins said; “I was honored to serve as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness with Rep. Seth Grove. We had a very productive two years of traveling around the Commonwealth gathering critical information from all the stakeholders including teachers, students, parents and employers.

“The next logical step in the process is to introduce legislation in the new session that will move forward with the House, Senate and governor collectively putting these proposals into action so as to ultimately enhance the students’ ability to learn the trades and finally achieve a marketable education and be prepared for the workforce,” Harkins said.

During the hearings, the subcommittee heard countless hours of testimony from more than 60 business and education leaders. Their input was taken into account and led to a series of recommendations on how to improve career readiness among our youth.

The subcommittee made more than 40 recommendations contained in five major categories. Those categories are:

Continue Legislative Oversight of CTE Initiatives.
Address Business and Industry Demands.
Strengthen Partnerships with Business and Industry.
Increase Access to Career and Technical Education Programs.
Confront Misperceptions regarding Career and Technical Education.

“This report bears out what I instinctively knew when I created the subcommittee as one of my first actions as the new Education Committee chair – that many Pennsylvanians are missing out on excellent-paying jobs by the cultural conditioning of thinking that everyone needs a four-year liberal arts degree. I strongly support the addition of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness as a permanent panel of the Education Committee. There are tremendous job opportunities out there for candidates with the right technical skills,” Saylor said.

A copy of the full report can be found at repgrove.com.

“I appreciate the bipartisan cooperation demonstrated in this effort, and I hope we will see more of that in the next session. Education funding will once again be key if we are to help all of our students to succeed. I am pleased the subcommittee included recommendations about making it easier to transfer credits and funding programs for non-traditional learners, such as people who dropped out of high school and other ‘second-chance’ citizens,” Roebuck said.

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