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Walberg Champions Career and Technical Education, 21st Century Job Creation

June 22, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) today supported the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), bipartisan legislation to expand opportunities for more students and workers to enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs. Click here to watch Congressman Walberg's remarks on the House floor.

“Expanding career and technical education is particularly important for Michigan, the heartland of American manufacturing, where high-skilled jobs are a vital component of our state's economy. Currently, numerous high-skill, high-wage jobs are left unfilled, waiting for someone with the right skills to apply. This bipartisan bill will help close the skills gap and increase opportunities for students and workers to secure the good-paying jobs of the future,” said Congressman Walberg.
H.R. 2353 reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which has provided federal support to state and local career and technical education programs for more than 30 years. The bipartisan legislation also includes Walberg-authored provisions to help states address burdensome occupational licensing requirements, which can create unnecessary regulatory barriers to job growth and economic opportunity.
A member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, Congressman Walberg continues to travel the 7th District to discuss the importance of CTE programs with workers, educators, and manufacturers. Leaders from across the district praised the passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.
“Alro Steel is a proud supporter of Career Technical Education (CTE), which provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers.  The future of manufacturing depends on teaching these technical skills.  ‘The Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act’ will help prepare students so they have the necessary work behavior skills to enter, compete, and advance in education and the workplace,” said David Schmidt, President/COO of Alro Steel Corporation in Jackson.
“It is apparent that our country is approaching a skilled labor crisis and we must take action to promote Career Technical Education as well as provide programs that support persons who wish to become competent in those skills. Lansing Community College and other like institutions have the equipment, the highly skilled instructors and the expertise to help expand a skilled workforce. Making potential students aware of those opportunities, and supporting them as they progress toward their educational goals is absolutely necessary in maintaining and expanding our industrial base, as well as our economy,” said Mark Cosgrove, Dean of Technical Careers at Lansing Community College.
“Middle-skill jobs make up the largest part of the labor market across the United States and right now key industries are struggling to find well-trained workers to meet their demand. Support of the The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act helps to provide educators the necessary resources to train young people for these careers. Preparing our future workforce and meeting the needs of industry ultimately leads to economic growth which benefits everyone,” said Michael Osborne, Superintendent of Hudson Area Schools.
“Branch County’s need for skilled labor is continuing to increase and change. Branch Area Careers Center is working to continually adjust and improve our training opportunities for K-12 students along with adult learners. Continuous improvement of Perkins and removing barriers for CTE at the secondary and post-secondary level is key. This allows educators to work with our local businesses quickly to develop the skilled workforce that they need now. The demand of skilled workforce is there, by continuing to remove barriers and allowing education to access funds will allow our workforce to continue to grow,” said Jamie Engel, Director of the Branch Area Careers Center.