The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill last week that seeks to strengthen the U.S. economy by making quality technical education available.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2353. is a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association is applauding the passage of the bill as U.S. boating industry has faced a shortage of skilled workers.
Responses to a Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ Workforce Assessment showed that more than 21 percent of the positions dealers had budgeted to have on their payrolls in 2016 remained unfilled, and that more than 90 percent of dealers had multiple positions unfilled.
The bill would enable more Americans to enter the workforce with the abilities necessary to compete for and succeed in high-skilled, in-demand careers, the NMMA said.
Specifically, the legislation looks to empower state and local community leaders by easing burdensome state application requirements for receiving Career and Technical Education funding; improve alignment with in-demand jobs; increase transparency and accountability; and ensure a limited federal role.
The amount of federal funds states can set aside would also increase from 10 to 15 percent to assist CTE programs in rural areas or those with a significant number of CTE students, establishing programs that support a state’s unique education and economic needs.