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Washington, D.C. – Following years of bipartisan negotiations, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), along with Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), applauded the committee’s passage of legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act.

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act would make important, necessary updates to career and technical education (CTE) to give workers and students the skills they need to find high-skill, high-wage or in-demand jobs. It would give businesses the ability to find the talent they need to compete in a changing 21st century economy.

“Reauthorizing and updating the Perkins program is critical to creating jobs, growing wages and ensuring our workers have the tools to out-compete anyone in the world,” Senator Casey said. “We were able to work together in a bipartisan manner on legislation that will strengthen career pathways, foster innovation and improve access for traditionally underrepresented populations, including students with disabilities, and ensure better outcomes for all students, educators and our economy. I am particularly proud that we secured a change to the funding formula that will ensure Pennsylvania gets a fair share of allocations going forward.”

The first reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act since 2006, this legislation would encourage states, schools and local CTE providers to update education and job training to meet the needs of the local economies, ensuring students have the skills needed to remain competitive. It would also increase alignment with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Every Students Succeed Act (ESSA), and promote collaboration between stakeholders so that local businesses can communicate their needs to states and educators as strategies and programs are developed.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with nearly 500 businesses and organizations from the National Association of Manufacturers, have voiced their support for bipartisan reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act.