The U.S. House of Representatives passed a key piece of workforce development legislation supported by ABC on Sept. 13 by a vote of 405-5. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)  reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to better align America’s workforce development programs with industry demand. ABC is supportive of Rep. Thompson’s legislation and has worked with Congressional leaders to shape policy that will equip our nation’s students with the tools and experience needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

In a politically contentious environment, H.R. 5587’s near unanimous support reflects the general consensus that construction, amongst other trades, offers stable and fulfilling careers that should be encouraged as a career path. Now that is has passed the House, H.R. 5587 will head to the U.S. Senate where ABC will continue to advocate for its passage to strength all workforce development programs.

The Perkins career and technical education (CTE) program began in 1984 and provides state and local communities with support to educate and train students in many fields, including construction. H.R. 5587 gives states more flexibility to determine their local workforce needs to ensure businesses and industry are working with schools to provide our students with valuable and in demand skills.

On May 17, 2016, Paul Tse, a project manager with ABC member Shapiro and Duncan, testified in front of the Education and Workforce Committee at a hearing on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and shared his CTE training story that put him on a path to success. In addition, 2016 ABC National Chair David Chapin called for reauthorizing the Perkins Act in an op-ed that ran in The Hill during ABC’s Legislative Week.