Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:
On Thursday, June 22, 2017, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. As Members of Congress committed to increasing access to high-quality career and technical education (CTE), we respectfully request that the Senate HELP Committee begin consideration of this legislation.
If signed into law, H.R. 2353 will reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for the first time since 2006, ensuring that the federal policy governing CTE is modern, robust and well-engineered. As you know, CTE plays an important role in the success of both traditional and non-traditional students and improves the profitability of all sectors of the American economy.
Business owners depend on Perkins Act programs to bridge the skills gap and increase the number of job-ready candidates. Thanks to skills-based learning, employers can be confident that students will have the tools they need to succeed in a number of career pathways, including manufacturing, information technology (IT) and agriculture as they enter the job market.
With this in mind, we believe it is incumbent upon this body to pass legislation that will help millions of Americans access the skills and technical knowledge they need to build promising futures. We greatly appreciate your dedication to this issue and look forward to working in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to reauthorize the Perkins Act.
Thank you for your leadership and we look forward to your timely reply.