Make it possible for all Chicagoans to go to a 4-year college, get better jobs
Letters to the Editor by U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, 8th District, Illinois
I read with great interest the recent report that good jobs in Chicago are hard to come by for those without a post-secondary education. (“No degree? Fed’s study says Chicago is a tough place to work,” Chicago Sun Times, 5/6/19.)
That shouldn’t surprise us.
These days, you earn what you learn.
But not everybody in Chicago and its suburbs is able to attend a four-year college.
For many students and families, the money or the inclination isn’t there. That’s why we need to do more so that everyone has access to a quality post-secondary education that gives them the skills and knowledge to obtain a good-paying job.
Two years ago, I introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and modernize the American career, technical, and vocational education system for the first time since 2006.
Last year, it became law and this July, it will come into effect, providing additional funding for these programs and ensuring that our educational institutions and business community work together to educate and prepare students for the seven million jobs left open across the country because employers can’t find workers with the necessary skills.
At a time when our low official unemployment rate doesn’t account for the number of Americans currently underemployed or who have given up looking for work altogether, we need to ensure that everyone can afford and obtain the education they need, not just to find a job, but to build a career.
Four-year colleges have a part to play, but so does career and technical education.
U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, 8th District, Illinois