Press Releases

Upton, House Vote to Reauthorize Carl D. Perkins Act

Bipartisan legislation offers Southwest Michigan residents innovative job training opportunities

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Washington, September 13, 2016 | Tom Wilbur/Lynn Turner (202 225 3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, on Tuesday joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in voting to advance H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act by a 405 to 5 vote. This bipartisan legislation reforms, modernizes, and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Act.

Since 1984, the Carl D. Perkins Act has provided federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. These innovative programs – spearheaded at the state and local level – offer students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for good-paying jobs in a broad range of fields. Unfortunately, federal law has not been updated in more than a decade, and no longer reflects the realities and challenges facing students and workers in the 21st century economy. This reauthorization provides need improvements that empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds, improves alignment with in-demand jobs, increases transparency and accountability to ensure CTE programs deliver results, and ensures a limited federal role.

“More and more we see young adults craving hands-on training experiences that give them the opportunities to not only learn things, but to actually do things,” said Upton. “Career and technical education programs are tantamount in providing those needed skills required to be successful in the workforce, and in higher education. In order to grow our middle class, we need to support CTE programs that help countless students prepare for well-paying careers.”

H.R. 5587 is supported by numerous groups and organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges, the Business Roundtable, IBM, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Education Association, the National School Boards Association, the School Superintendents Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To see a full list of supporters, and to read their letters of support, please click here.

To read a detailed summary of H.R. 5587, please click here.

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