Barletta Supports Career & Technical Education Reforms

Jul 7, 2016
Press Release
Legislation to Help Workforce Gain High-Skilled, In-Demand Jobs

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today supported bipartisan legislation to reform Career and Technical Education (CTE) policy to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.  In a hearing of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Barletta voted for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), which improves and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.  The bill was approved by the committee on a unanimous 37-to-0 vote and now heads to the floor of the full House of Representatives for its consideration.

“With every day that passes, new technologies are presenting exciting and challenging employment opportunities for Americans,” Barletta said.  “If we want to truly compete in the world economy and maintain our position as a global leader, then our workforce must be able to set the pace.  This legislation will provide much-needed resources to equip students with the skills they will need.”

Since 1984, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act has provided federal support to state and local CTE programs.  These programs offer students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for jobs in a broad range of fields, such as health care and technology.  However, because federal law has not been updated in more than a decade, it no longer reflects the realities and challenges facing students and workers.

Building on recent reforms to the K-12 education and the workforce development system, the bipartisan legislation will:

  • Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
  • Ensure that career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in technical fields.
  • Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
  • Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
  • Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
  • Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.  
  • Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique ‎local and state needs.