February 23, 2017

Senate Passes Kaine’s Bipartisan Resolution To Recognize February As Career & Technical Education Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, led a bipartisan resolution that unanimously passed the Senate to designate February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. CTE Month provides a chance for students, counselors, educators and administrators to learn more about the educational opportunities available in their communities, and recognizes the importance of CTE in preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce in the United States. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the nation’s first major federal investment in secondary career and technical education.

“Our nation’s economic competitiveness relies on the talent of the American workforce and its ability to meet demands in the 21st century economy,” said Kaine. “By formally recognizing CTE Month through this resolution, it is our hope that we can build greater awareness for the importance of strengthening access to high-quality career and tech ed for millions of America’s students.”

Today, approximately 11.5 million students are enrolled in CTE programs, encompassing every state through nearly 1,700 two-year and thousands more secondary CTE centers, comprehensive high schools, career academies, and CTE high schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Career, Technical and Adult Education, in 2012, the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs was 93 percent, compared with the national average of 80 percent.

Earlier this year, Kaine and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, a bill that would help students access Pell Grants for training programs for the 5.5 million vacant jobs that are unfilled in part due to a shortage of qualified workers. Numerous CTE provisions Kaine authored were also included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, including amendments to expand career counseling, modernize high schools with work-based learning opportunities, and designate CTE as a part of a well-rounded education along with traditional subjects including English, math and science.

Joining Kaine in leading the bipartisan resolution were Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Todd Young (R-IN). The measure was also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Al Franken (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jonny Isakson (R-GA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and John Thune (R-SD).

The full text of the resolution can be found here.