Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that following her push, the Senate passed the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which includes provisions from two of her bipartisan bills to 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. This bipartisan legislation is now one step closer to being signed into law.
“Companies across New York have many good-paying, high-tech jobs available, but they can’t fill them because too many graduates don’t have the technical and computing skills they need to apply. We need to make sure that all of our schools have the resources they need to prepare students for these great jobs, no matter where they are in the state,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I was proud to introduce the bipartisan Computer Science Career Education Act and the bipartisan 21st Century SHOP CLASS Act, which would help prepare students for jobs in computer science and advanced manufacturing, and I’m thrilled to announce that important parts of these two bills just passed the Senate last night. This is great news for our state, and I’m hopeful that they will be signed into law very soon.”
Gillibrand’s provisions were included in the larger Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act that passed the Senate yesterday evening. 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.