Last week, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bi-partisan bill reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins) Act of 2006, which is dedicated to strengthening the availability and quality of technical education in order to help the U.S. economy.
NMMA applauds the House for passing this bill, as U.S. boating businesses have been facing a shortfall of skilled workers for manufacturing, technicians, and service repairs. In fact, a Boating Industry survey of its readers revealed 96 percent of manufacturers reported trouble filling open positions in 2016.
The bill would enable more Americans to enter the workforce with the capabilities necessary to compete for and succeed in high-skilled, in-demand careers. Specifically, the legislation looks to empower state and local community leaders by easing burdensome state application requirements for receiving Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding; improve alignment with in-demand jobs; increase transparency and accountability; and ensure a limited federal role. The amount of federal funds states can set aside would also increase from 10 to 15 percent to assist CTE programs in rural areas or those with a significant number of CTE students, establishing programs that support a state’s unique education and economic needs.
NMMA will continue to monitor the legislation as it moves through Congress and urge swift action by the Senate to send it to the President’s desk for signing. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Vasilaros at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Pasko at email@example.com.