ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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On January 24, the U.S. Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus hosted a briefing on how federal policy can support the intersection of infrastructure and CTE. Infrastructure includes a wide variety of fields, ranging from roads and bridges to telecom, water, energy and more. To address the nation’s various infrastructure needs and how CTE is preparing people for careers in these fields, a diverse group of panelists from across the country traveled to Capitol Hill to speak to more than 60 congressional staffers and leaders from different education organizations.
The following experts sat on the panel:
In addition to a panel discussion, two of the caucus co-chairs, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) gave remarks. Both announced the introduction of the JOBS Act, which increases access to high-quality, short-term job training programs by expanding Pell Grant eligibility. Senator Portman also announced Senator Todd Young (R-IN) as a new co-chair of the caucus.
Several common themes emerged throughout the briefing that were highlighted by both the panelists and Senators Kaine and Portman. First, the briefing stressed that investments in infrastructure yield much more than “temporary construction jobs.” Rather, investments in infrastructure lead to high-paying careers in design, engineering and maintenance, among others. Further, infrastructure encompasses more than just roads and bridges. Investments in infrastructure includes providing broadband access, expanding and increasing the efficiency of energy distribution systems, improving the quality of drinking water, rebuilding schools, and so much more. Lastly, the panel underscored the workforce demand for these infrastructure fields. In fact, one report that was highlighted suggests that by 2022 there will need to be 2.7 million new career-seekers to replace those in the infrastructure workforce who will be retiring.
The briefing was quite timely as discussions of a major infrastructure package emerge in Washington. President Trump talked about investing in infrastructure on the campaign trail, and reports suggest his team is working on a proposal. Coincidentally, Senate Democrats unveiled an infrastructure plan on the same day as the panel. ACTE looks forward to working with Congress and the Trump Administration to find ways to support CTE as a critical component to meeting infrastructure workforce demands.
Click below to scroll through photos from the briefing. You can also view the photos here.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 01/26/2017 at 11:11 AM in CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
CTE Caucus, Infrastructure, Rob Portman, Tim Kaine
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