Letter to Senate on Supporting Perkins CTE Reauthorization

June 14, 2018

The Honorable Lamar Alexander Chairman, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee 428 Senate Dirksen Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray Ranking Member, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee 428 Senate Dirksen Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

We, the undersigned businesses and organizations, write to urge the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to take swift, bipartisan action on reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. An update to this legislation is crucial to helping our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s workplace.

Because employers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions, ensuring that secondary and postsecondary institutions offer modern, quality and relevant career and technical education (CTE) programs remains a leading priority so that we can develop and grow our nation’s workforce. As competition for high-skilled labor increases and as the U.S. economy reaches full employment, every effort must be made to close the skills gaps that many industries across all sectors face.

The Senate has an opportunity to support a next-generation workforce by investing in and modernizing CTE programs. Reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act should focus on areas where improvements can be made to current law. As employers, we support efforts to:

  • • Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state and local labor market;
  • Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
  • Increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
  • • Promote the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials.

These updates will improve student outcomes and create additional postsecondary pathways into the workforce by preparing students with the academic, technical and employability skills they need to thrive.

The House of Representatives unanimously passed a version of a Perkins CTE reauthorization in 2017. It is time for the Senate to follow suit and help prepare Americans for career opportunities in a growing economy.

We look forward to your consideration and stand ready to work with you to support a high-quality, high-skilled workforce.




President & CEO