On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the presidents of the PA Chamber, Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia sent a letter to U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, asking that he urge the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to act on the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. “Perkins CTE” would accompany the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which was passed in the U.S. House earlier this year and earned the support of the letter’s signatories.
“As you know, Pennsylvania employers are currently reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions,” they wrote. “Modernized and relevant CTE programs, designed with the input of employers and responsible for the needs identified by labor market data, are central to overcoming this skilled labor shortage.”
The letter also outlined the ways in which existing law can be improved to help close the jobs skills gap, including aligning CTE programs to the needs of state, regional and local labor markets; supporting collaboration between educators and employers; increasing student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and promoting the use of credentials upon completion of these programs.
Locally, Columbia Montour Chamber member Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School is a recipient of Perkins CTE Act funds.
Here is the full letter.