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Thompson, Langevin bill recognizes National Career and Tech Ed month

February 28, 2020
In The News

Congressmen Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, introduced H. Res. 864, a resolution recognizing National CTE Month, which is observed every February.

“National CTE Month underscores the importance of the many successful programs that create opportunities for hard working Americans to succeed by connecting them with hands-on training and skills,” said Langevin. “As Advance CTE celebrates its 100th anniversary, it is with great pride that I join Congressman Thompson in bringing attention to the CTE programming that is putting Americans to work and helping to build the workforce of tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle to advance legislation that will create more pathways to quality work-based experiences and good-paying careers.”

Thompson added, “Career and technical education is helping close our nation’s skills gap, strengthen the American workforce, and empower learners of all ages. Every February, we’re reminded of the valuable contributions of CTE students and educators. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort in Congress with Congressman Langevin, and I’m proud of the work Advance CTE has done over the last 100 years to promote skills-based education.”

CTE prepares students for careers in fields such as healthcare, information technology, and the skilled trades. There are more than 7 million job openings nationally, and many are within industries with noted skilled labor shortages. By 2026, health care occupations alone are projected to grow by 18 percent, adding more than 2 million jobs nationwide. It is also projected that 3 million workers will be needed to support investments in the nation’s infrastructure in the next decade.

More than 12 million students are enrolled in CTE programs at high schools, career academies, CTE centers, and two-year colleges across the country. Participation in CTE programs has been linked to better attendance and higher high school graduation rates. The resolution recognizes the importance of CTE and encourages educators, counselors, career development professionals, and parents to promote CTE as an option for students.

In 2018, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, legislation led by Thompson and Langevin, was signed into law. The bill made major updates to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, increasing federal investment in CTE programs and realigning them with industry needs to better close the skills gap. In 2019, Thompson and Langevin also introduced the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act, which aimed to jumpstart the development of CTE curricula that incorporate cybersecurity skills training and the Counseling for Career Choice Act, which would fund career counseling programs in middle and high schools.