Presidential Scholars Named, Hearing on the Skills Gap, Apprenticeship Task Force Completes Report

Career Technical Education (CTE) was in the spotlight this week with the announcement of the 2018 Presidential Scholars and a congressional hearing on closing the skills gap. Read below to learn more about these items and an update on the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

2018 CTE Presidential Scholars Announced

On May 8, 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars were named by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. This includes 20 students who are U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE. On June 24these students will be recognized at a ceremony, during which they will receive their Presidential Scholar Medallions. Check out this blog post to learn more about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Closing the Skills Gap

On May 9, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing, “Closing the Skills Gap: Private sector solutions for America’s workforce.” The witnesses who provided testimony during the hearing were Ryan Costella, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Click Bond, Inc., Tamar Jacoby, President of Opportunity America, Steve Partridge, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development at Northern Virginia Community College and Traci Tapani, Co-President and Owner of Wyoming Machine, Inc. Members of the Subcommittee focused their questions on a variety of factors that influence the skills gap and how programs and partnerships between business and education can work together to overcome it. Witnesses discussed the role CTE can play in connecting education to business and industry and examples of programs that have seen promising results. In addition, they discussed the importance of investing in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Additional topics were also discussed, including the need to both strengthen career guidance and advisement and change the perception of CTE.

Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion Completes Final Report

The Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, which was called for by President Trump’s June 2017 Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America held its final meeting on May 10. The Task Force was chaired by Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta and vice-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and comprised of 20 members representing business and industry, education, state and local government and more. As part of the Executive Order, the Task Force was “charged with the mission of identifying strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient” and submit a final report to the President with their findings. The final report includes 26 recommendations from the Task Force’s four subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Education and Credentialing, the Subcommittee on Attracting Business to Apprenticeship, the Subcommittee on Expanding Access, Equity, and Career Awareness and the Subcommittee on Administrative and Regulatory Strategies to Expand Apprenticeship. You can find the final report along with materials from the Task Force’s previous meetings on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion webpage.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

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