House Education Panel Advances AED-Supported Perkins Reauthorization Bill

Earlier today, the House Education & the Workforce Committee unanimously approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). H.R. 2353 reforms, modernizes and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than a decade, is the principal source of federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation.

AED has urged lawmakers and the administration to make workforce development a primary focus and Perkins Act reauthorization is one of our top legislative priorities for this Congress. In the association’s letter of support for H.R. 2353, AED’s president & CEO Brian P. McGuire emphasized a 2016 AED Foundation-commissioned study that found the shortage of qualified equipment service technicians costs equipment dealers $2.4 billion per year in lost productivity and foregone economic opportunity. He also discussed the latest report released by The AED Foundation in January, which concluded that while skills-based learning will increase student’s lifetime earnings, most states have work to do to better prepare students for technical careers.

Following the bill’s introduction, McGuire said, “By reflecting current workforce needs, empowering state and local entities and emphasizing work-based learning opportunities, the legislation is a great step to address the industry’s skilled worker deficiency, allowing AED members to better serve customers while growing their businesses and the overall economy. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to get this important legislation to the president’s desk in the near future.”

The legislation now awaits consideration by the full U.S. House, which is anticipated later this year.

To learn more about The AED Foundation’s recent research studies, visit here.

To read a fact sheet on the bill, visit here.

To read a more detailed bill summary, visit here.

To read the bill, visit here.