WASHINGTON – More than 30 members representing the WMMA, AWFS and WMIA met with federal agencies and Congressional offices to press for action on the most important industry priorities. Coming together with a shared voice, industry representatives found common ground across the industry and across the aisle to advocate for funding for continuing technical education. Other industry priorities included healthcare reform, regulatory reform and trade.
Fly-in attendees found broad bi-partisan support for CTE funding. President’s Trump budget request proposes to level-fund the Perkins Basic State Grant at the FY 2017 enacted level ($1.118 billion). Digging deeper, meetings on the Senate side revealed that Democrats have accused Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions of holding up a hearing on H.R. 2353 - Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Senator Alexander’s office indicated that it has serious concerns with Secretarial powers, while Democrats indicated civil rights issues with H.R. 2353.
Other meetings yielded creative ways to fund CTE:
Representative Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) – Bill allows 529 plans to be used for CTE.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) – JOBS Act opens up Pell Grants to job training for less than 600 clock hours.
Representative Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) – Gateway to Careers Act supports career pathways strategies, which combine work, education, and support services to help individuals earn industry-recognized credentials.
Representative Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) – Championing Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in Technology (CHANCE in Tech) Act addresses the growing skills gap in the technology sector through expanding and investing in tech apprenticeship programs.
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