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Moving in the Right Direction

"CTE Benefits Everyone"

Technological advances. A persistent “skills gap.” Jobs that are available yet unfilled. These are some of the unique challenges that workers and communities across the country can face. Fortunately, career and technical education (CTE) can offer a positive solution. As the editorial board of the Daily Mining Gazette in Michigan writes:

New workers know how to work a computer but lack the education to apply that knowledge to careers in demand in the current labor market. This skills gap is likely to get worse instead of better since the level of education and training required for these careers will only increase over time … CTE benefits everyone, because it creates a local labor market competent in high-demand careers at the ready for any business or corporation looking to enter the local economy.

By linking local employers with education leaders, CTE can lead students into successful, life-long careers and fill local economic needs. Take IBM. Through the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) education model, IBM has helped graduating students secure paid internships and mentors from local businesses who can offer career advice, guidance, and support.

Encouraging innovative collaboration is one reason the House passed H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Introduced by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA), this bipartisan bill includes positive reforms that will give state and local leaders the flexibility they need to align CTE programs with changing education and economic needs in their communities. As Ginni Rometty, chairman, president, and CEO of IBM, writes:

By passing this much-needed reform and modernization bill, the House has taken an important step toward realigning training with work … We must align education and training with the evolving needs of the American economy to close the skills gap, connecting high schools with post-secondary education, create quality jobs, boost productivity and prepare our nation’s youth to succeed in a new era of technology.

H.R. 5587 provides state and local leaders with the tools they need to do just that, providing more Americans A Better Way to obtain the knowledge and skills to compete and succeed in today’s rapidly evolving workforce.

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