WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today introduced a bipartisan resolution to encourage educators to promote career and technical education (CTE) as an option for students. In addition to recognizing the importance of career and technical education in preparing a skilled workforce, the resolution also designates the month of February as “Career and Technical Education Month” to celebrate CTE programs across the United States. Last month, Kaine and Portman announced the formation of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus that focuses on improving and strengthening access to CTE to ensure students are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.
“If we are to win the race for talent, we need a long-term plan that produces the best workforce in the world,” said Kaine. “Career and technical education is a proven solution for creating jobs, retraining workers with the skills they need to fill open positions in the job market, and ensuring students of all ages and all walks of life are career and college ready.”
“At a time when far too many Americans are finding that they lack the skills they need to get back to work, it’s important to highlight Career and Technical Education, which equips students with the technical expertise necessary for many of today’s good paying jobs,” said Portman. “This resolution recognizes critical efforts around the country to bridge the skills gap by building a more competitive, 21st century American workforce.”
"In Wisconsin, we know that higher education is the path to the middle class," said Baldwin. "Our technical colleges both in Wisconsin and across the country open the doors of opportunity to our students. The career and technical education they provide is essential to growing a skilled workforce that can strengthen our economy and keep America competitive."
According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in career and technical programs is 90 percent, compared with the national average of 78 percent. Additionally, 81 percent of high school dropouts say real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school.