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Representatives Trahan, Pappas, Horn, and Finkenauer Introduce Critical Workforce Training and Education Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Kendra Horn (D-OK), and Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) introduced The Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act, H.R. 4371. This legislation would authorize $200 million in funding to foster greater cooperation and alignment between Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and educational institutions and employers. The funding authorized by this bill is critical to making sure that individuals seeking a technical education are gaining the skills necessary to fill jobs currently in demand across our economy. 

Perkins is the primary federal funding source for high school, college and university CTE programs that are critical for preparing students for higher education and jobs in our local and regional economies. This bill would also bump up funding for tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions by $10.5 million.

“Across Massachusetts, businesses and manufacturers are struggling to find and hire individuals with the proper qualifications. This skills gap can be overcome with education and training. It’s a matter of making sure the necessary resources are available to better align our systems for technical education with the skills that employers need to fill jobs now. I’m proud to introduce legislation that will help those seeking a technical education get into good paying jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Congresswoman Trahan.

“I have met with manufacturers and small business owners across New Hampshire who are hiring, but can’t find the right candidates for the job,” said Congressman Pappas. “This legislation will help close that skills gap by bringing together businesses and educators in a way that meets local needs and expands opportunities for Granite Staters. I will continue to champion initiatives that connect hard working individuals across our state with the career and technical education they need to succeed.”

“A strong economy means quality jobs that require a variety of backgrounds and education. I’ve met with Oklahoma business leaders across industries who struggle to find candidates with the right skills and training. Oklahoma’s CareerTech system is one of the strongest in the nation, filling critical employment gaps and building pathways for job and career opportunities. I’m proud to introduce legislation creating these critical connections that close the skill gap and better connect career and technical education with employers in Oklahoma,” said Congresswoman Horn.


“Investing in career and technical education means investing in Iowa’s future and our students,” said Rep. Finkenauer. “When our folks get trained to fill skilled, good-paying jobs, our economy can thrive. I am proud to help introduce legislation to invest in career and technical programs that work with partners in our communities. This is good for our families and good for Iowa’s economy.”

This legislation has been endorsed by Association for Career and Technical Education and Advance CTE.

“All across the country, CTE programs are preparing learners for educational and career success in sectors that span the American economy,” said LeAnn Wilson, Executive Director of the Association for Career and Technical Education. “But providing high-quality CTE programs requires financial resources, and federal funding for Perkins CTE continues to be insufficient to meet the demands of both students and the labor market. This critical legislation makes smart and targeted investments to strengthen the nation’s postsecondary CTE programs and build connections across the entire education and workforce development system. We applaud the bill’s sponsors and are grateful for their efforts to strengthen CTE.”

"Alignment between secondary, postsecondary education and the workforce is a critical component of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education programs of study," said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of Advance CTE. "We are supportive of The Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act, which would greatly strengthen the capacity to build these partnerships and ensure each learner has the opportunity for postsecondary and career success"    

Eligible recipients of this funding would be postsecondary institutions offering Perkins CTE programs in partnership with each of the following:

  • A consortium of secondary schools
  • An area CTE school (in the instance that a school is in the State or local area of the eligible recipient)
  • A State or local workforce development system
  • A four-year institution of higher education

You can read the full bill text HERE: