The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) made enactment of the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) a key part of its legislative agenda. The association scored a major victory when the House recently approved H.R. 2353, sending the legislation to President Trump for his signature.
The legislation reforms, modernizes and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than a decade, is the principal source of federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation.
“Today, Congress took a long overdue step toward addressing the nation’s skills gap by approving the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” said AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire after the bill’s passage on July 25. “By reflecting current workforce needs, empowering state and local entities, and emphasizing work-based learning opportunities, the bipartisan legislation provides tools to better prepare workers for well-paying careers and ensure that U.S. companies can seize new business opportunities, making the United States more competitive in the global economy.”
“The greatest strategic challenge facing the construction equipment industry is the scarcity of skilled technical workers that is costing AED members more than $2.4 billion per year in lost revenue and economic activity. H.R. 2353 is an important part of the solution, which along with a commitment by businesses, schools and government officials to collectively tackling the technical education crisis at all levels, will help our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to meet employer demands. Thank you to the bill’s sponsors for their leadership on this issue. The construction equipment industry urges the president to sign this important legislation into law as soon as possible.”
The legislation will help:
- Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state and local labor markets.
- Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers.
- Increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities.
- Promote the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized post-secondary credentials.
These improvements will more effectively spend federal dollars to help our nation’s students acquire the skills that they need and employers – including AED members – are demanding.
AED’s most recent letter of support for H.R. 2353 can be viewed here.