On July 31, President Trump signed into law one of the most significant education bills of his Administration, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The bill will overhaul career and technical education programs across the U.S. by providing funding for job training and related programs for high school students, many of whom may be seeking postsecondary options other than a four-year college degree, as well as for students in higher education.

The new law reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Act (Perkins Act) for the first time since 2006. The CEO Council has long advocated for the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, believing that high-quality CTE programs are an effective tool for preparing CTE students both for college and careers and are critical to meeting the needs of the 21st century economy.

This past June, CEO Council staff as well as key members of the Regional College & University Presidents’ Alliance and the Chamber’s Education and Talent Action Team traveled to Washington, D.C. to join industry, academia, associations, and other Chambers across Pennsylvania to discuss reauthorization of the Perkins Act with Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a leading voice on the issue in Congress.  The meeting provided an update on negotiations by Senator Casey and feedback from participants on reauthorization measures important to our community.

We thank members of our regional congressional delegation for their support of the Perkins Act reauthorization, which will ensure a quality employee pipeline for employers and access to in-demand and high paying jobs for America’s workforce.