NPES Lauds House Passage of Career and Technical Education Legislation
RESTON, Va. — June 27, 2017 — NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, lauds the unanimous bi-partisan approval of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 22.
“This is a very important step forward in bridging the widening skills gap in the printing, imaging and mailing industry,” said NPES President Thayer Long. “It is imperative that the bi-partisan momentum that brought about this success continue with the U.S. Senate acting on the legislation as soon as possible. The improvements that this legislation brings to career and technical education across the country need to be put into effect now,” he adds.
NPES especially thanks and commends Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8-IL) who sponsored the legislation, along with co-sponsor Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-4-PA). Krishnamoorthi represents the Illinois 8th congressional district, home of over 20 NPES member companies, the most in any congressional district in the nation.
The bill is designed to strengthen and improve career and technical education by reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which will help more students gain the knowledge and skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs, and aid employers in finding technically qualified workers for their businesses. “This is a totally ‘win-win’ effort,” says NPES Vice President, Government Affairs, Mark Nuzzaco. “The challenge of finding qualified workers for technically demanding jobs is repeatedly cited as one of the top keeps me up at night issues for our members and others in the printing, imaging and mailing industries value chain,” Nuzzaco adds.
At a press conference following House approval of his legislation, Congressman Krishnamoorthi said “this legislation will help grow our economy and close the skills gap by bringing businesses and educators together to build training programs that will prepare students for in-demand careers.” To that Margie Garr, Director, Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation, adds, “funds made available under this Act supplement normal operational expenses for graphic communications programs allowing for improvement and development, such as the PrintED accreditation program. PrintED provides a valuable framework aligning curriculum with national industry standards to prepare students for further education and employment opportunities.”
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act provides federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. The new legislation will improve current CTE policies to help more Americans gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Give states more flexibility in using federal resources, and incentivize technical education that prepares students for high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers;
- Improve curriculum alignment with in-demand jobs, support innovative learning opportunities, build stronger community partnerships and engagement with employers;
- Increase employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing, so students are prepared to enter the workforce;
- Streamline performance measurers, reduce administrative burdens, simplify applying for federal resources, and tailor programs to local and state needs;
- Replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers; and,
- Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of state and local programs.