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#TBT: Gov. Pence on the Importance of CTE

Policymakers across the country—and on both sides of the aisle—have long recognized the critical role career and technical education (CTE) plays in helping prepare students for future success. In February 2015, one of those policymakers, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, appeared before the committee and discussed how the Hoosier State was “offering new pathways to success for all of Indiana’s students through enhanced career and technical education opportunities.” Highlighting the importance of CTE in his written testimony, the governor explained:


[We] cannot forget that a critical goal of our educational system is to enable students to succeed in a 21st century economy and to ensure that students are prepared for college and careers. For some students, this means a four-year college degree. While completing college is a goal which we need more students to attain, going directly into a career may prove the better option for many others.

This is not about a Plan A and a Plan B. This is about two Plan A’s. For those students who are not bound for the traditional four-year college, we must still ensure that they can thrive in their future careers, and one way to do this is to again make career and technical education a priority.

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why committee members are working to advance the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587). Approved unanimously by the committee last month, this bipartisan bill will provide Americans—particularly younger Americans—with responsible CTE reforms that:

  • Empower state and local community leaders;

  • Improve alignment with in-demand jobs;

  • Increase transparency and accountability; and

  • Ensure a limited federal role.

By strengthening CTE and helping more individuals obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the workforce, this bipartisan proposal will help ensure students have—in the words of Gov. Pence—“two plan A’s” for achieving success.

To learn more about the bill, click here.


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