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Kaine Pushes For Increased Investments In Career & Technical Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine led 24 of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee urging them to increase support for career and technical education (CTE) through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act State Grant program.

“CTE programs continue to evolve and expand to meet the needs of students who want the training and education necessary for success in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand career fields such as engineering, information technology, and health care,” the Senators wrote. “Perkins provides students with transferable skills that ensure they are college and career ready. It also affords continued training opportunities to many adult workers who need to adapt their skills for a rapidly changing job market… In order to meet the needs of students, educators, and employers, Congress must make investing in Perkins a top priority for the coming fiscal year.”

Kaine, who chairs the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus along with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), participated in a CTE discussion today with Congressman James Langevin (D-RI) and Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the House Career and Technical Education Caucus. Throughout the discussion, Kaine emphasized that CTE programs are essential to preparing workers with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century, drawing on his own experience working in his father’s welding shop. 

“We have sadly stigmatized vocational education in this country, but now we are roaring back with some wonderful CTE programs,” said Kaine. “Even at a time when the unemployment rate is high, there are such many job opportunities that are going unmet because we are not providing workers with the CTE training they need.”

Kaine and Portman were recently joined by Senator Tammy Baldwin to introduce a bipartisan resolution encouraging educators to promote CTE as an option for students.