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Kline Statement: Debate on H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

A quality education is vital to succeeding in today’s workforce. However, it’s important to know that a quality education doesn’t have to mean a four-year college degree. Career and technical education can be just as valuable, and for many individuals, it’s the path that’s best for them.

Earlier this year, members on the Education and the Workforce Committee heard from Paul Tse. Paul struggled as a student, but his life changed when he enrolled in a CTE program at the Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, Maryland. Today, Paul has a fulfilling career and not a dime of student loan debt.

There are countless other success stories just like Paul’s. The CTE classes Rob Griffin took as a high school student in Whitfield County, Georgia, prepared him for a successful career at one of the nation’s leading steel fabricators.

The hands-on experience Alex Wolff received at the Santa Barbara County Regional Occupational Program led to a rewarding career in electrical engineering. And Jasmine Morgan from the Atlanta area found her passion through CTE coursework and landed a job as a sports marketing specialist.

The goal of this legislation is to help more individuals write their own success stories. This bipartisan legislation will empower state and local leaders to tailor CTE programs to serve the best interests of the students in their communities. It will improve transparency and accountability, as well as ensure federal resources are aligned with the needs of the local workforce and help students obtain high-skilled, high-demand jobs.

These positive reforms are an important part of our broader agenda, A Better Way, which is aimed at helping more men and women achieve a lifetime of success. I want to thank Representatives Glenn Thompson and Katherine Clark for their leadership, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation