Trump Signs Career and Technical Education Bill to Give Workers, Students 21st Century Skills

August 06, 2018

President Trump has signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act. The bill, H.R. 2353, also makes important updates to career and technical education to give workers and students the skills they need to find high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand jobs.

Training update, increased coordination. This is the first re-authorization of the Perkins CTE Act since 2006. The bill encourages 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 also increases alignment with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Every Student Succeeds 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.

White House applauds passage. In a statement, the White House noted that the Perkins CTE has been stalled for years due to policy disagreements and that re-authorization was one of the top workforce development policies in the infrastructure plan that President Trump sent to Congress in February 2018.

Perkins CTE programs authorize more than $1 billion for States each year to fund vocational and career-focused education programs, according to the White House. These programs benefit secondary and post-secondary students across America who utilize CTE programs to gain the skills and knowledge needed for rewarding careers. Perkins CTE re-authorization will benefit more than 11 million students.