WASHINGTON, July 31—Associated Builders and Contractors today praised Congress and the administration for passing a bipartisan reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, one of the key federal programs that supports vocational education programs that align with local workforce needs and lead to industry-recognized credentials.

“With strong support from the Trump administration, Congress has modernized and improved its flagship career education grant program to meet the evolving needs of our workforce and marketplace,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of environment, health, safety and workforce development. “There are 500,000 jobs ready to be filled in the construction industry alone, a number which will continue to grow if we don’t join forces to expand collaboration between industry and educators and focus on effective work-based learning.”

ABC supports the legislation’s emphasis on employer engagement in career education:

  • Giving business and industry an opportunity to have input on workforce development curricula, and requiring educators and state and local education officials to consult with employers at virtually every state of planning, launching, implementing and evaluating a career education program or pathway; and
  • Funding work-based learning at the state and local levels and through the innovation and modernization grant program.

Century Act (H.R. 2353) on July 23, and the House passed it on July 25, both by voice vote. The bill funds $7.5 billion in Department of Education grants through 2024.