Congress Approves Career-Technical Education Bill

Thousands of COABE members responded to our previous calls to action to support Senator Reed's CTE for All Act included in the bill, which will help working-age adults build their job skills and advance, with an emphasis on high-demand jobs. We are pleased to share that your outreach and collective voice helped bring about successful results for our field! Keep up the great work! 

Please read the press release below posted by Senator Reed's office.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Congress passed a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act that includes key provisions authored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed to help working-age Americans build their skills and strengthen states' abilities to offer more career-technical or skills-based classes. 

The bipartisan package authorizes about $1.2 billion annually in federal funding for CTE related programs and will help give students at the secondary, adult, and postsecondary levels the skills they need to further their education and find good-paying, in-demand jobs. It will also help businesses find the skilled workers they need to compete in an evolving global economy.

"There is no 'one size fits all' pathway to a successful career. But education leads to opportunity, and programs that blend basic skills and occupational training can help adult learners maximize their potential and increase their earning power," said Senator Reed, the lead author of the Career and Technical Education for Adult Learners Act (S. 3349, also known as the "CTE for ALL Act"), which was largely incorporated into the final, bipartisan package. "This bill takes a results-oriented approach to better aligning our education and workforce training initiatives with high-demand sectors. Students of all ages can benefit from career and technical education opportunities. Enhancing adult education helps American workers learn new skills and improve their lives. It can help lift individuals, communities, and businesses together because the more skilled workers who are out there earning a paycheck, the more demand there is for the goods and services our businesses offer."

Reed's provisions in the legislation will:

  • Encourage programs funded under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to align with adult education programs and industry sector partnerships authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
  • Include the state director of adult education and adult education providers in the development of the state plan for career and technical education.
  • Enable adult education providers that also offer career and technical education programs to participate in consortia that are eligible to receive funds under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. 
  • Expand the special populations to be served to include low-income, out-of-work, or underemployed adults.
  • Place a greater emphasis on work experiences as part of career and technical education programs.          

The full U.S. Senate passed the bill yesterday and it was passed by voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this evening. 

The bill now goes to President Trump's desk to be signed into law.