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Thursday, June 15, 2017

House Career & Technical Education Leaders Applaud Expansion of Apprenticeship Opportunities for American Workforce

Bipartisan group of House lawmakers encouraged by focus on expanding job opportunities

Today, Career & Technical Education (CTE) leaders in the House of Representatives welcomed President Donald J. Trump’s executive actions to double federal funding for apprenticeship grants to close the skills gap and put more Americans to work.

Bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus Co-Chairmen Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued statements of support.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), who along with Rep. Thompson, co-authored the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, to improve and strengthen CTE, and House Education and the Workforce Committee member Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) also commended the action that will expand educational opportunities.

Rep. Thompson said, “As Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Career and Technical Education Caucus, I recognize the value of hands-on learning in the form of apprenticeships, internships and similar programs. I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of aisle to introduce the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which aims to expand access to work-based learning and increase the overall quality of CTE programs. Through the advocacy of my colleagues, soon we will be bringing the bill to the House floor for consideration. Today’s Executive Order is encouraging, and I am pleased to have the support of the executive branch as we continue working to close our nation’s skills gap and increase job opportunities.”

Rep. Langevin said, “On-the-job training is a key component to building a strong American workforce. Apprenticeship programs allow us to create school-to-career pipelines to ensure American workers are ready for the demands of the modern economy. When paired with robust government oversight, federal funding for apprenticeship grants can provide vital support for these programs, and I am pleased by the increases announced today. I hope my Congressional colleagues will maintain their commitment to CTE by passing the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act next week.”

Rep. Krishnamoorthi said, “Apprenticeships and career education are vital to closing the skills gap and growing our economy. That’s why we need to pass the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to modernize and buttress these programs. Investing in CTE programs and linking classroom education with in-demand career skills will help students, businesses, and our economy as a whole.”

Rep. Smucker said, “I have my own experience with non-traditional education. I took college courses at night while operating a small construction company during the day. It’s important we accommodate the needs of many different types of students that are ready to learn and willing to work. I commend President Trump on his efforts to develop an experienced, highly-capable workforce to meet the needs of an evolving economy, and to help provide more opportunity for American workers to gain the skills necessary to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs.”

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