December 15, 2017

Gillibrand Announces Bipartisan Legislation To Promote Vocational Education & Entrepreneurship, Train Future Workforce For 21st Century Economy

Senator Gillibrand Announces Legislation To Train The Next Generation Of Manufacturers, More Than 377,000 Students Statewide, Including Close to 6,500 High School Students in Orange County, Currently Enrolled In Career And Technical Education (CTE) Training Could Benefit From This Legislation

Newburgh, NY U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today visited the Newburgh Free Academy to announce her bipartisan legislation, 21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act. This bill would direct federal funding to high-tech training and education programs in high schools and institutions of higher education, which would give more students the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to get good-paying jobs in the high-tech manufacturing sector. U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is a cosponsor of this bill.

Technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools are transforming American manufacturing and increasing the need for specialized training for manufacturing jobs. To prepare our students with the skills needed for high-tech jobs, this legislation would amend the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to give greater priority to funding for maker education, makerspaces, and training for teachers in the application of maker education.

“Many manufacturing companies in our state have job openings with good salaries, but they can’t fill them because too many workers haven’t had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to take on those jobs. We need to fix this,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to make sure tech-ed classes are teaching students how to use the latest high-tech tools, like 3D printers, that manufacturing companies expect them to know how to use. Our students should be able to take many different paths in order to get a good job and earn a good salary, and this bill would help equip more students with the skills they need to get on a path toward good-paying high-tech jobs when they graduate high school.”

“We are pleased to have Senator Gillibrand in district to share educational initiatives surrounding some of our programs,” said Dr. Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. “We currently offer sixteen CTE programs and are exploring opportunities to offer more in the future. These cutting-edge programs give Newburgh scholars an authentic look into various careers. Our graduates leave us career and college ready!”

“We appreciate the support of Senator Gillibrand in promoting legislation that will give students access to new and emerging technologies as they prepare to become the workforce of tomorrow,” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Council of Industry. “Career and Technical Education provides a clear path to rewarding and lucrative careers in the advanced manufacturing sector. More and more students, parents and professional educators are recognizing this fact and this legislation will help make CTE available to more students. It is also a wonderful complement our association’s efforts to encourage people to pursue careers in manufacturing such as GoMakeIt.org and Apprenticeships.”

This investment in vocational education would give more students the technical skills needed for good-paying jobs, providing hands-on learning experiences for students to use high-tech industrial tools to create and innovate. This approach to technical education will offer more opportunities to inspire the next generation of manufacturing workers and entrepreneurs. This bill, as well as a broader reauthorization of federal CTE programs, will help promote to career and technical education to set more students up for success by preparing them for the jobs of the future.

Importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Manufacturing Needs Career and Technical Education (CTE)

  • Through 2025, an estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers.
  • Modern manufacturing is increasingly high-tech and creates complex technical jobs that require technical-skill training. 70 percent of manufacturing executives indicate a need for more workers who have high-tech skills.
  • Maker education motivates and inspires young people to excel in STEM subjects and prepares students for careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and entrepreneurship that will shape the nation’s economic future.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) introduced this legislation with Senator Gillibrand. A bipartisan House version of this legislation was introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Susan Brooks (R-IN).