The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently issued a brief, Building a Technically Skilled Workforce, which reminds us that in order for the United States to remain a leader in the global economy, we must ensure that workers have the education and skills to be successful in emerging and high-growth industries.
We agree, and we believe that CTE will play a vital role in preparing our workforce for the future. However, we do not agree with CAP’s proposed use of Perkins Act funding to meet this goal.
In the brief, CAP recommends that a “Community College and Industry Partnership Grant” program should be established to encourage partnerships between community colleges, and business and industry. These partnerships would in turn result in programs that provide credentials which are directly linked to current job requirements and respond to future job openings. CAP proposes that the grants be paid for with postsecondary Perkins Act funding. NASDCTEc believes that, among other things, doing so would hinder the progress the CTE community has made in linking secondary and postsecondary education, a goal reinforced by the Perkins Act.
This proposal is just that – a proposal, and holds no weight in terms of actual legislative authority. However, as reauthorization draws near, we will likely have to fend off proposals like this one that targets the use of Perkins funds
Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager