U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that following her push, the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was signed into law today. The legislation includes provisions based on two of Gillibrand’s bipartisan bills that would promote technical skills training and prepare students for high-demand, good-paying jobs in the 21st century economy. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act reauthorizes funding for career and technical education programs.
“I am very excited to announce that important provisions from my bipartisan Computer Science Career Education Act and my bipartisan 21st Century SHOP CLASS Act have just been signed into law as part of the Career and Technical Education reauthorization,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Companies across New York have many high-tech jobs available, and these provisions will help train students with the technical and computing skills they need to fill these jobs. This is great news for our state, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that our schools have the resources they need to better prepare students for high-quality jobs, no matter where they are in the state.”
Gillibrand’s provisions were included in the larger Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law today. Her bipartisan Computer Science Career Education Act would help provide more opportunities for students to learn computer science skills, especially for women, minority, rural, and low-income students across New York State who are underrepresented in STEM careers, in order to prepare them for in-demand careers in computer science. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024, one in every two STEM jobs will be in computing, and there will be 1.3 million job openings in computing occupations due to growth in the field. However, fewer than 50,000 students graduate each year with bachelor’s degrees in computer science.
The legislative package also included provisions from Gillibrand’s bipartisan 21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students (SHOP CLASS) Act, which would prepare teachers to offer expanded training for students across New York State in advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools. Modern manufacturing is increasingly high-tech and creates complex technical jobs that require technical-skill training.
The Computer Science Career Education Act is cosponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and the 21st Century SHOP CLASS Act is cosponsored by Senator Todd Young (R-IN). Both provisions from Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation would help train the future workforce for the 21st century economy and give more students the training needed for high-demand, good-paying jobs.