Career and Technical Education Monthby Representative James R. Langevin
Posted on 2013-02-13
LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Career and
Technical Education Month. I'm proud to be joined by Mr. Thompson of
Pennsylvania, who I know spoke earlier this morning. Mr. Thompson is my
good friend and fellow cochair of the bipartisan Congressional Career
and Technical Education Caucus.
CTE is an investment in the future of our economy, our workforce, and our country. From skills training in high schools to community colleges and professional programs, CTE plays a critical role for workers of every age. And I'm so proud that President Obama called for more support for CTE in his State of the Union message last evening.
The most important step I believe we can take this year to support CTE is to fully reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. Currently, the Perkins Act is authorized at a level set in 2010, which doesn't reflect the reality of a modern economy where more workers are looking at high-skilled fields.
More and more employers need highly skilled workers. I hear too often from Rhode Island employers with job openings that they can't fill because they can't find the workers with the right skills to fill the jobs that they do have available. Meanwhile, our unemployment rate remains unacceptably high.
Closing the skills gap is one important step we can take to ensure that workers can fit and fill the needs of expanding industries, both today and in the future. After all, how can we expect to help individuals start a company or businesses expand their company or to relocate jobs from overseas if we don't have the workers with the right skills to do the jobs that would be and are available? Mr. Speaker, I look forward to a continuing partnership with my good friend, G.T. Thompson from Pennsylvania, in the 113th Congress, and I strongly urge my colleagues to join the Career and Technical Education Caucus and to support the full reauthorization of the Perkins Act.