As summer heats up and temps exceed 100 degrees many of your businesses are filling this workforce constraint more than ever. While we have yet to discover the silver bullet to provide the much-needed workforce fix, we are pleased to share skilled workforce support took a major step forward last week when…Perkins CTE passed the Senate HELP Committee!!!
BACKGROUND: Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act dictates how the federal government spends about $1 billion each year on career and technical education programs. If the reauthorization is passed, it would mark a major step toward the law’s first significant overhaul in more than a decade. The House passed a ACCA backed bipartisan bill, H.R. 2353 (115), last summer. But in the Senate, HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander has long pushed to further curtail the Education secretary’s authority under the law. The ACCA backed bill that passed the HELP Committee gives states broad authority to develop their own plans for improvement, but if states don’t meet their goals at a certain level, then the Education Secretary could eventually start to hold them accountable.
What Really Happened: The US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions last Tuesday, June 26th marked-up Perkins CTE. Chairman Alexander (R-TN) offered a Bipartisan Chairman’s Amendment drafted with Ranking Member Murray (D-WA), and Senators Enzi (R-WY) and Casey (D-PA). The amendment passed unanimously on a voice vote. No date has been set for action by the full US Senate.
ACCA has been pushing for this reauthorization/update for nearly two years, and was pleased to offer our support for the legislation after meeting with committee staff, and getting a walk-through of the bipartisan agreement that has been reached to update the law.
ACCA’s Support The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the national trade association representing more than 600,000 professional heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) professionals in every state, write to urge the Committee to support efforts to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Updating and reauthorizing this program is vital to ensuring today’s workforce is receiving quality career and technical education (CTE), and can be given the skill sets to match the many positions within the HVACR and other manufacturing fields which continue to go unfilled.
The HVACR industry has a considerable shortage of skilled workers, and the problem is accelerating due to constraints within the training pipeline. Skilled labor is vital to promulgate proper installation and maintenance of cutting-edge energy efficient equipment. The HVACR Alliance supports policies to prioritize technical education support, especially in high schools, that highlight the benefits of employment careers in the skilled trades while promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Continued and expanded support will yield long-term benefits to the HVACR industry and the millions of customers our members serve.
As competition for high-skilled labor increases and as the U.S. economy reaches full employment, every effort must be made to close the skills gaps that our and other industries face. The House of Representatives unanimously passed a version of a Perkins CTE reauthorization in 2017. It is time for the Senate to follow suit and help prepare Americans for career opportunities in a growing economy.
ACCA urges the Committee to support bipartisan legislation which would help to modernize CTE programs and contractors are able to access the high-quality workforce needed to compete in a growing economy. If you are looking for high-skilled commercial HVAC professionals to work on a project contact us today!
Article via (acca.org) by James Barton