Press Release

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

Nov 20, 2017

Albion, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today visited Charles D’Amico High School to announce her bipartisan legislation, the 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 new 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 appreciate the support of Senator Gillibrand in promoting legislation that will provide our students with the training and access to new and emerging technologies as they prepare to become the workforce of tomorrow. The growth in Career and Technical Education at our Orleans Niagara BOCES is largely due to the recognition by students and parents that skilled training in fields like advanced manufacturing, health care and computer technology is a pathway to good paying jobs and a secure future,” said Joseph Steinmetz, Director, CTE and Adult Secondary Programs, Orleans Niagara BOCES.

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 would 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, would help promote 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)

  • CTE programs at the high school and community college level provide hands-on training and education for in-demand, good-paying jobs in a variety of industries from manufacturing to health care to computer programming.
  • Over 377,000 students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school and post-secondary programs in New York from 2015 to 2016.
  • Technical-skill jobs that require a high school diploma but not a four-year degree make up the largest part of the labor market and close to almost half of job openings in New York State through 2024.

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).