Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement applauding the U.S. Department of Education's release of their "blueprint" for reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
"I applaud the Administration for focusing on this issue and building on the successes of the career and technical education programs that help so many students get the skills they need to be successful in the workplace.
"I look forward to working closely with the Department of Education and my colleagues in Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act as soon as possible to help make sure the next generation of workers are getting the skills, training, and support they need to succeed.
"The economic struggles we've faced as a nation have made clear that it is more important than ever that students have access to quality CTE programs. These vital programs give them the skills and credentials they need to meet the demands of 21st century careers. So now more than ever, we can't afford for the critical programs funded through the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to lapse.
"I strongly support the Administration's push to build on the successes of CTE programs across the country and focus on alignment, collaboration, accountability, and innovation. I do have concerns with the funding mechanisms being proposed, but I am hopeful that these concerns will be addressed as Congress considers the reauthorization.
"Making sure students and workers can move into positions in thriving industries is one of the most important things we can do to help students, businesses, and communities in this tough economy. I've been proud to have worked on the last two reauthorizations of the Perkins Act programs that have helped millions of students, businesses, and families. I've also introduced career pathways legislation to make sure communities have the resources they need to prepare their students for in-demand regional industries and occupations. And I will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to reauthorize and reform our nation's workforce development system."
Senator Murray is a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She chairs the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, which has jurisdiction over a variety of employment issues.
Murray has been a leader in the Senate in the push to reauthorize and reform the Workforce Investment Act, as well as to invest in the critical education and training programs students, workers, businesses, and communities depend on. She has fought to close the skills gap by supporting education and training that leads to credentials recognized by industry, learn and earn strategies, work-based learning opportunities, and the alignment of skills learned in the classroom with the skills in-demand in growing industries.