Posts Tagged ‘Department of Labor’

New Short-Term FY24 Funding Deal Announced | Legislative Update

Friday, March 1st, 2024

This week lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following an extended recess period. With a critical funding deadline landing this week, Congress announced a new short-term extension of existing federal funding to provide more time for ongoing negotiations to continue. Elsewhere, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he is stepping down while new apprenticeship grants have been announced by federal agencies. 

Lawmakers Announce New Short-Term Funding Agreement

Two critical funding deadlines for federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) have swiftly approached: today, March 1, and next week on March 8, when existing FY24 funding is set to expire. As Advance CTE has been sharing for the last several weeks, Congressional leaders have been struggling to find consensus on full-year FY24 appropriations legislation, including the measure that provides funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). 

With time running short, Congressional leaders have been meeting throughout the week to chart a path forward. Late Wednesday evening, Congressional leaders announced a new bipartisan FY24 funding agreement extending these deadlines, at current FY23 funding levels, through March 8 and 22. The new continuing resolution (CR) agreement splits the dozen annual funding measures that compose the federal budget into two tranches. These two tranches now equally divide these measures with half now expiring next Friday, March 8, and the remainder on March 22. Of note for the Career Techincal Education (CTE) community, the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) funding measure, which provides funding for the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL) along with programs these agencies administer, lands on the latter of these dates.

This agreement is intended to provide lawmakers with additional time to resolve outstanding issues related to full-year FY24 funding. These issues reportedly continue to center on the inclusion of additional and controversial policies, known as “policy riders,” which some Republican lawmakers are seeking to attach to FY24 funding measures while Democrats have remained opposed. Yesterday, the House passed this additional short-term CR by a 320-99 margin. The Senate quickly took up this latest CR and passed it by a wide, bipartisan basis 77-13. The measure now heads to President Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law prior to the existing March 1 funding deadline. Advance CTE is continuing to advocate for a robust investment in CTE via Perkins V’s basic state grant program as part of this wider process and looks forward to its timely completion soon. 

Senate Minority Leader McConnell Announces Retirement

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced earlier this week that he plans to step down from his leadership role later this year and retire at the end of his current Senate term (lasting through 2026). McConnell has led the Senate Republican Conference since 2007. Multiple senators, including John Thune (R-SD), John Cornyn (R-TX), and John Barrasso (R-WY) are widely expected to vie to succeed McConnell later this year. A formal election for the next Senate Republican leader is expected to take place sometime after the upcoming November elections.

DOL Announces $200M in New Apprenticeship Funding  

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the availability of nearly $200 million in new discretionary funding to expand registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs). This latest round of apprenticeship funding includes roughly $100 million in funding for State Apprenticeship Expansion grant funding and $95 million for a second phase of its Apprenticeship Building America, Round 2 (ABA2) grant initiative. Of note for the CTE community, the ABA2 grants include a new priority for applications that emphasize RAP alignment with education systems. 

The funding announcement goes on to indicate that additional priority will be given to applications that include CTE and those that also promote postsecondary credit attainment that can articulate for a degree. These funding opportunities are intended to align with DOL’s wider efforts to update apprenticeship regulations, including broadening training opportunities into more non-traditional economic sectors and for underrepresented populations while emphasizing greater intentional alignment with education systems, including CTE. More information on the grant announcements can be found here and here.

HELP Committee Renominates Julie Su

Earlier this week the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee reconsidered Julie Su’s nomination to be the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. As a reminder, Su has been serving in an acting capacity as the head of DOL since her nomination stalled in the Senate last year following opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and all Senate Republicans. The committee advanced Su’s nomination on a party line vote, 11-10, but it remains unclear if she will garner the necessary support within the full chamber to be formally confirmed. A time to further consider her nomination has not yet been scheduled. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Championing Career Technical Education: Highlights from CTE Month 2024

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

Each February, the Career Technical Education (CTE) community celebrates CTE Month to raise awareness of opportunities and impact achieved for every learner and leader through its programs.

This year’s CTE Month celebrations showcased the continued significance and success of CTE across the nation. Below, you’ll find highlights from this month, featuring events from states, partners, policymakers, and other champions of CTE!

Federal CTE Champions 

On February 8, Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Fox (R-NC) spoke on the House Floor to celebrate CTE Month, stating, “By equipping students with the competencies they need to be successful on the job, career and technical education programs give participants an invaluable head start.” Watch here

Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) Recognize February as Career and Technical Education Month

Co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus Reps. Thompson and Bonamici spoke on the importance of career technical education on Capitol Hill.  Watch on C-SPAN Read the press release

 

 


State CTE Champions 

Arkansas CTE Day at the Capitol

Throughout the month of February, Arkansas held regional CTE showcases to highlight local programs that serve as a bridge between K-12 and higher education, with the first one taking place at the Capitol Rotunda alongside Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Read the full press release

 

Maine’s CTE Month Showcase

Maine kicked off Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month at the State House with a showcase featuring learners, instructors, and directors from 15 of the state’s 27 CTE centers. The showcase featured learners’ advanced skills in areas from biotechnology and hospitality to welding and graphic design. Notably, every instructor and director at the event reported an increase in “non-traditional students” participating in CTE programs. Read more about the kick-off

 


CTE Champions in Schools

Secretary of Education Cardona Joins President Biden’s Investing in America Tour

On February 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Tour. The visit featured a tour of CCRI’s advanced manufacturing lab, a roundtable discussion with educational leaders, and dialogues with learners. Additional discussions took place with CCRI’s President Rosemary Costigan, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee, and U.S. Representative Gabe Amo. 

Cardona applauded CCRI’s intentional alignment of education with workforce needs, especially with the state’s Latine population as a Hispanic-Serving Instituion. The event demonstrated Rhode Island’s commitment to inclusive and high-quality CTE programs that serve both learner and industry – “I wanted a new career path, something where I could earn my diploma and show my kids it’s not too late to go back…I had my kids at a young age and was always focused on providing and making sure they had what they needed before I could go back to school. To finish will be a big accomplishment, not just for me but for them, too” said Fredy Vasquez, 38, a learner in the Advanced Manufacturing and Design degree program. Read more about Cardona’s visit and CCRI

 

DACCTE Celebrates Poster Contest Winner

Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education (DACCTE), along with partners from the Department of Labor and Department of Education hosted a poster contest to showcase the talent represented in CTE classrooms every day. The winning poster was used to celebrate CTE Month in Delaware. Read more on DACCTE’s CTE Month activities


CTE Champions on Social Media

#ThisisCTE Social Media Campaign


The Oregon CTE Youth Advisory Council launched a #ThisIsCTE social media campaign to highlight CTE programs and initiatives across the state and increase CTE awareness. 
View on Facebook | View on X (Twitter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSDE CTE Month Myth Busting

The Maryland State Department of Education (MDSE) conducted a social media campaign dispelling common myths about CTE.

 


To continue to advocate for CTE year-round, explore our resources to reach learners, families, employers, and policymakers:

…and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest on CTE information, resources, research and more!

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits, News
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Lawmakers Celebrate CTE Month, Progress on FY24 Remains Uncertain | Legislative Update

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers in the House and Senate have continued to formally recognize the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) and celebrated February as CTE Month® in a number of ways. Elsewhere, appropriations leaders continue to work on federal funding measures, Advance CTE endorsed several new pieces of legislation and federal agencies released new equity plans. 

New Challenges Emerge in FY24 Funding Process

The Senate remained in session last weekend to pass a highly anticipated supplemental national security aid package. Following that action, the Senate adjourned and is not expected to return to Capitol Hill until February 26. Meanwhile, the House met for an abbreviated work period this week where Republican lawmakers impeached Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. This action in the House will trigger a trial in the Senate when lawmakers return later this month. Due to Senate rules that require addressing this issue upon their return, this upcoming trial may impact ongoing negotiations, largely occurring behind the scenes, on federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) spending, including the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations measure that funds the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and other programs administered and overseen by the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL).

At this time, it remains unclear how lawmakers will ultimately move forward with FY24 appropriations legislation beyond the upcoming expiration dates of current funding rapidly approaching on March 1 and March 8. Reportedly, appropriations leaders are currently negotiating potential “policy riders” that some lawmakers are seeking to attach to these funding measures, including Labor-HHS-ED. House lawmakers are currently scheduled to return after a recess period on February 28, leaving only a few days to determine a pathway forward. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE is continuing to advocate for robust funding for Perkins V’s formula grant program.

CTE Month Continues With Co-Chair Appearances and a New Senate Resolution

Yesterday, House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) made an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to talk about the importance of CTE and the role it plays in the wider economy. The two leaders fielded questions from viewers and spoke at length about their experiences with CTE, the importance of the federal investment made by Perkins V and highlighted the immense value CTE programs provide to learners, especially by providing multiple pathways to postsecondary education, training and careers. These lawmakers also introduced the Counseling for Career Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen career counseling services available to K-12 students. Advance CTE was proud to endorse this legislation upon introduction. In addition, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) provided floor remarks celebrating CTE month and emphasizing the important role CTE programs have in providing learners with valuable and durable skills. 

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate CTE Caucus co-chair Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing February as CTE month within the chamber. “This month and every month, let’s work to expand access to CTE, including by passing my JOBS Act to allow students to use Pell Grants for job training programs, and build an economy that works for everyone,” Senator Kaine remarked upon its passage. 

Advance CTE applauds all of these lawmakers for their ongoing leadership on this issue and extends our community’s deep appreciation for continuing to elevate and highlight the significant importance of CTE this month and throughout the year.

Bipartisan Childcare CTE Bill Introduced

Earlier this week, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Mike Lawler (R-NY) and Bonamici introduced the Early Childhood Workforce Advance Act. The legislation would provide new resources for CTE programs and aims to address significant workforce shortages in this critical sector of the economy. “The Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act intentionally leverages CTE programs and ensures that these efforts are connected to ongoing state and local efforts to strengthen early educator workforce pipelines,” Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kate Kreamer shared upon the bill’s introduction. More information on the proposal can be found here.

ED Publishes Updated Equity Action Plan

At the beginning of the week, ED formally released its 2023 update to the Department’s existing “Equity Action Plan,” outlining new commitments to advance equity in education. ED identified five key focus areas: improving college access and completion rates for underserved students; ensuring equitable resources for learning recovery; expanding educational opportunities for justice-impacted individuals to improve outcomes; advancing equity in career and technical education; and increasing mental health resources in underserved communities. In the plan, ED notes that it hopes to improve data transparency with regards to Perkins V data, host a future webinar series on equity in CTE and propose broadened equity indicators as part of its priorities for potential legislative updates to Perkins V in the years ahead. Read the full plan here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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FY24 Funding Progress Slows, U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected Grants | Legislative Update

Friday, January 26th, 2024

This week lawmakers struggled to make progress on federal appropriations for the current fiscal year while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced new career-connected high school grants. Elsewhere, federal agencies formally unveiled a significant new regulatory proposal related to apprenticeships. 

Congress Extends FY24 Funding for Another Month

As shared last week, Congress passed an additional short-term extension of federal funding, known as a continuing resolution, which extends FY23 funding levels for federal programs through March 1 and March 8 later this year. The “laddered” CR is intended to provide lawmakers more time to negotiate full-year appropriations for federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) which began last October. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), which is included in the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill, is set to expire on the latter of these two dates in March. 

While this development is an encouraging step in the wider FY24 process, appropriations leaders must still establish individual allocations for each of the dozen bills that compose the federal budget. Known as 302(b) allocations, lawmakers have continued to struggle this week to successfully negotiate these funding levels including for the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill. Until 302(b)s are determined, lawmakers cannot move forward with negotiations on program-level funding, including for Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other important investments in education and workforce development. It remains unclear how lawmakers will come to a resolution on this important issue with current reports indicating that little progress has been made this week. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for the foundational federal investment made by Perkins V. 

U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected High School Grants

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited the Advanced Technical Center—an area career technical school located in Washington, DC and recently featured in the Washington Post for its impact on chronic student absenteeism in DC. During the visit, Secretary Cardona announced a slate of new grants as part of his agency’s career-connected high school initiative

Advance CTE has previously highlighted that the activities authorized under this new discretionary grant program can already be funded using resources from Perkins V’s basic state grant program. In announcing 19 grant awards in total as part of this effort, which will benefit 17 states, the agency indicated that it received 160 applications for this funding totaling nearly $850 million. These applications for funding demonstrate significant unfilled demand for CTE programming which can only be addressed through a strengthened systemic investment via Perkins V’s state grant program. “The Biden-Harris Administration is going to keep on fighting to provide every student in every community with career-connected learning,” Cardona said as part of the announcement. More information on these grants can be found here

DOL Moves Forward With Apprenticeship Regulations Impacting CTE

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) last week which is intended to significantly update and overhaul the existing regulatory framework for registered apprenticeship programs. As shared previously, this NPRM also includes a new “CTE Apprenticeship” component with implications for state CTE agencies and systems. Yesterday, DOL hosted a webinar providing a high-level overview of this proposal. An archived webcast, including related presentation materials, can be accessed here. Comments on the NPRM are due March 18 and can be submitted through this comment portal.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Research Round-up: Building and Expanding Registered Apprentice Programs through Community College Partnerships

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s blog elevates state examples of how federal funding might be used to administer youth apprenticeship. These findings align with Advance CTE’s vision for the future of CTE where each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable. 

Overview

In celebration of Apprenticeship Month, we’re elevating two reports from New America that provide state CTE leaders with helpful information about opportunities to leverage (or braid) funding to support youth apprenticeship or registered apprenticeship (RA) programs.

Background

Earlier this spring, New America published a blog, “Leveraging Existing Federal Funding Streams for Youth Apprenticeship,” in response to memos from the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) outlining how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) can be applied in more flexible and innovative ways to support youth apprenticeship. New America then published a research study in early November on the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges that want to expand apprenticeship opportunities to their students. This report, “Community Colleges and Apprenticeship: The Promise, the Challenge” expands on key blog recommendations; notably, that state CTE leaders should consider using federal funds to partner with an experienced intermediary organization to build out RA programs statewide

Apprenticeship Intermediaries

An apprenticeship intermediary is similar to “workforce intermediaries” in the public workforce system, which has a long history of facilitating connections between public and private services and workers. Unlike Registered Apprenticeship, which is well defined and regulated by the DOL, there is no definition of an “apprenticeship intermediary” in federal statute. In their study, New America utilizes the definition coined by the federal government, “An apprenticeship intermediary helps to build, launch, and run apprenticeship programs in collaboration with other apprenticeship partners. Just as many organizations may participate in apprenticeship partnerships—including employers, and often also labor organizations, secondary and postsecondary institutions, community-based organizations (CBOs), and industry organizations or associations—an equally wide array of organizations may perform intermediary functions.” 

Intermediaries typically support program development and delivery; stakeholder engagement; monitoring, evaluation, and support services; and strategy and field building. These responsibilities make community colleges a strong contender to serve in this role as many of these services are already built into the institution.

Findings

This study found that community colleges are uniquely positioned to support the expansion of apprentices by acting as apprenticeship intermediaries”

Recommendations

State and system policy plays a key role in supporting community colleges as apprenticeship intermediaries. State CTE leaders seeking to leverage community colleges to expand apprenticeship participation can:


For further reading

Leveraging Existing Federal Funding Streams for Youth Apprenticeship also addresses the use of federal funds for teacher preparation programs.

Please visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center for additional resources about the benefits of expanding apprenticeships and strategies for leveraging community college partnerships.

Amy Hodge, Membership and Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Research
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2023 Fall Meeting Keynote and Awards Dinner Celebrates CTE Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

Tuesday, October 24th, 2023

This year, we welcomed over 200 attendees for the Advance CTE Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland to make meaningful connections and ignite innovation to Elevate Career Technical Education’s (CTE) Impact. Our general sessions featured leaders from across the CTE community who are going above and beyond to ensure each learner can achieve CTE without limits.  

Keynote: The Work Ahead – CTE and the Future of Work 

Our keynote speaker was Chike Aguh, an education and workforce development innovator who is a former Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor and currently a Senior Advisor for the Project on Workforce Harvard. Chike set the tone for Fall Meeting early by sharing how his parents, first-generation immigrants to the U.S., had CTE-connected careers, which paved the way for his own success which included serving the President of the United States. Chike knows that more remarkable stories like this are made possible because of the work that CTE leaders do. His presentation explored the question:

What world are we preparing our learners for, and how does Career Technical Education prepare them for it?

Chike’s message was clear – the world of work is changing dramatically and CTE needs to meet the challenge. Some changes have already happened, such as automation and remote work from industries ranging from loan administration to transportation. Other changes are yet to come, and they continue to profoundly change and in some cases put at risk jobs that Americans rely on. 

The way CTE responds to these challenges, according to Chike, is by equipping learners with both “timeless” skills and “just in time” skills. These skills don’t just make learners prepared for the workforce, they make them economically indispensable. 

One resonating message from Chike is that “‘Career Technical Education’ is too small a term for what CTE leaders are doing and what they need to do”. He applauded CTE leaders and educators for the work that they do every day, yet stressed the hard work that lies ahead for CTE in empowering the workforce of the future. 

Star of Education Awards 

Fall Meeting also served as an opportunity to celebrate state CTE leaders who are making significant contributions to elevating CTE’s impact in their state. 

The State CTE Leadership Rising Star Award, awarded to Amy Miller, recognizes new CTE leaders who are actively engaged with and dedicated to advancing a vision for CTE that is committed to quality, equity and access within their state. Miller began her role as Assistant Director of CTE at the South Dakota Department of Education in 2020 following a career as a family and consumer science teacher, CTE director and high school principal.

The State CTE Distinguished Leadership Award, awarded to Dr. Sarah Heath, recognizes current and former state CTE leaders who have a distinguished and tenured history of service and have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to advancing a vision for high-quality and equitable CTE at the state and national levels. Dr. Heath, who served as President of the Advance CTE Board of Directors from 2020-2022, has held the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for CTE and State CTE Director in Colorado since 2015 following positions as a computer science and business educator, state program director and local system administrator.

In their acceptance remarks, both leaders emphasized the importance of their state and local partners’ shared commitment to innovation and the needs of learners as central to their success. Dr. Heath in particular elevated the unique community of the “CTE family” that connects leaders across the country. 

Preparations are already underway for the Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting in Arlington, Virginia from April 29-May 1, 2024! Visit the event page to mark your calendar and learn more.

Layla Alagic, Digital Communications Associate
Stacy Whitehouse, Associate Director, Communications

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Platinum Sponsor, CareerSafe – CareerSafe Offers Comprehensive Online and On-Demand Safety Training

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

CareerSafe was founded in 2003 under the core belief that no job is worth a young worker’s life. CareerSafe has expanded their focus to include the whole worker. From safety and health training to employability skills and cybersecurity awareness, CareerSafe is focused on providing the foundational skills workers need to launch successful careers.

Starting with Safety

A first step of safety training can occur as soon as middle school or freshman year, with CareerSafe’s StartSafe program. A site-license specific training will provide five (5) hours of core content, as well as the opportunity to explore additional pathways. StartSafe is the perfect introduction to OSHA and workplace safety, covering topics such as:

OSHA 10-Hour Training 

The next obvious step in each learner’s safety training is OSHA 10-Hour Training in either General Industry or in Construction with several industry-specific pathways including: 

OSHA 10-Hour training is purchase per seat and registered through the U.S. Department of Labor, granting each student a recognized OSHA General or Construction Industry card. 

Cyber Safety Awareness

Technological advances have made the digital world an integral part of everyday life. Unfortunately, that means online risks for young people are also becoming more prevalent. The CareerSafe Cyber Safety Awareness Library contains courses with grade-level focused topics for 6th-12th grades and covers situations like cyberbullying, sexting, and the consequences of school threats. This is a site license program as well. 

Employability Skills

The final step on preparing learners for workplace readiness is the CareerSafe library of Employability skills. 

These courses are available per seat or by site license and they provide quality resources and techniques for building essential skills and strategies applicable in all professional fields. Topics include:

When you add in CareerSafe’s best-of-class customer service, innovative online curriculum, and effective teacher tools, there are numerous ways to educate your learners. 

By offering the whole suite of CareerSafe products, from StartSafe to OSHA 10-hour training, cyber security training to employability skills, the result is a well-rounded, educated young worker who is capable of staying safe in the workplace. 

Scaling Across Your State 

CareerSafe believes that all students deserve the right to a safe and fair workplace. What better way to prepare your students to remain safe in the workplace than to equip them with the knowledge and understanding of OSHA safety training while still in high school. Because our courses easily integrate within your teacher’s existing CTE curriculum and are created to align with the National Career Clusters Framework this opportunity allows for states to scale this course across all pathways for every student. We have Account Executives available across the country to walk you through how to get set up today. Let us help you set your students on a path to success. 

Sherry Pruitt, Executive Director of CareerSafe

Sherry.Pruitt@careersafeonline.com

careersafeonline.com

888-614-7233

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, HBI – Construction Skills Training to Elevate CTE’s Impact

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Those of us in Career Technical Education (CTE) often speak about preparing learners for careers in the real world. Well, here’s a real-world example of a sector where quite literally millions of careers are waiting to be fulfilled: construction. The number of open construction jobs averages between 300,000 and 400,000 every month. That’s an astonishing figure, especially considering how many good-paying positions await those who choose the field. Half of payroll workers in construction earn $50,460 annually, and the top 25 percent make at least $71,000. 

In the construction industry’s home building sector, employers in every state are paying top dollar for well-trained, entry-level workers. That is, if they can find any. One place they’re successfully identifying them is in high schools, community colleges and other institutions using a curriculum from the trade training nonprofit Home Builders Institute (HBI) called Pre-Apprentice Certificate Training (PACT). 

HBI’s PACT curriculum is designed to provide learners with essential skills vital for careers in construction. Upon completion, graduates receive a certification in up to nine construction trade specialties. The certification is recognized and validated by the nation’s building industry. PACT, which is hands-on, competency-based curriculum, is one of only three, national curriculums approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and several state departments of education.

Gage Trebilcock, left, 17, a senior at Stonington High School, explains his technical drawing in the Pipeline in Manufacturing class he’s enrolled in to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, second from left, Monday, Oct. 3, 2024. Trebilcock is enrolled in the new pilot program with the Home Builders Institute of Washington, D.C., titled the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) program. The pilot program, only the second in the state, is designed to highlight how a local public school system can promote the construction trades. | Tim Martin, The Westerly Sun

 

Home builders are looking for smart, hard-working and ambitious team members. States are elevating CTE’s impact by helping to support the tools and services that train new workers. HBI’s PACT is part of broad efforts by many states to create regional training opportunities, adopt skills-based hiring practices and increase equity and job quality by promoting private sector employment opportunities for a diverse workforce. 

For example, in Rhode Island, the Residential Construction Workforce Partnership serves employers and educators in the state by recruiting and training people who want to join the industry as well as those seeking to upskill current employees. Since its inception, the group has used HBI’s PACT curriculum to great success.

State CTE leaders and economic development professionals understand the synergy between skills training, good jobs and economic strength. After all, wages in construction are higher than in other industries. The average hourly earnings in construction is approaching the $36 mark (in manufacturing, it’s $31.80. Transportation and utilities: $27.67. Overall, in the private sector: $33.20). That kind of solid personal income helps support the bottom line of any tax base.

More broadly, the shortage of affordable rental and for-sale homes is a challenge for every state. The U.S. faces a shortfall of 1.5 million homes, which as a matter of supply and demand, forces rents and house prices higher nationwide. Economists and housing professionals cite the skilled labor gap as a major contributor to the scarcity of affordable homes.

It’s simple. For those we together serve, gaining a valuable skill in residential construction promises limitless career opportunities. And supporting skills training makes economic sense for every state in the nation. 

Learn more about PACT Curriculum and Certification: PACT One Pager

To explore how PACT can be integrated into a state’s CTE initiatives, visit HBI.org and email Partnerships@hbi.org.

Ed Brady, President and CEO, Home Builders Institute (HBI)

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Legislative Update: Career Counseling Legislation Introduced & Efforts to Address Teacher Shortages Unveiled

Friday, August 4th, 2023

While Congress left Washington, D.C. this week to return to home districts and states as part of its annual August recess, the Biden Administration made a series of announcements related to educator preparation efforts and cyber workforce needs. Elsewhere, Advance CTE recently endorsed career counseling legislation introduced in the House. 

Congress Goes on Recess

This week lawmakers in both chambers of Congress returned to their districts and states for the annual August recess. Congress is expected to return in early September to a long list of important issues, including the need to find consensus on full-year federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) appropriations. Advance CTE anticipates that lawmakers will most likely need to consider several potential pathways forward to bridge the significant spending gap between the House and Senate’s respective visions for FY24 funding, especially regarding funding for important education and workforce development programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*). 

When Congress’s FY24 spending negotiations resume after the recess, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for Perkins V and other vitally important investments in education and workforce development. In support of these efforts, we encourage the Career Technical Education (CTE) community to contact their members of Congress during this crucial period of time to ask them to support recently advanced appropriations legislation in the Senate which would provide a $40 million increase in funding for Perkins V’s basic state grant program. 

Lawmakers Introduce Career Counseling Legislation

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by House CTE Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced the Creating Opportunities to Thrive Act (COTA). Advance CTE is proud to endorse this legislation which would expand federal support for career counseling programs and allow for more comprehensive public outreach via the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). “[WIOA] is an integral part of the national workforce education and training system, and this bill takes important steps to maximize WIOA so that every learner is aware of the resources they need to support their journey to career success,” Advance CTE’s Executive Director, Kate Kreamer said upon introduction. Broadly COTA is intended to ensure that more learners across the nation are aware of the services, supports, and programs offered by WIOA and other federal investments in skills development. More on the legislation can be found here

ED & Labor Announce New Teacher Preparation Efforts

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a number of new efforts to improve the educator talent pipeline and address persistent nationwide shortages of qualified instructional personnel. The agencies announced the development of new national apprenticeship standards for K-12 teachers, developed by a collection of organizations known as the pathways alliance. These standards serve as a template for interested states and local stakeholders to develop and implement their own registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) for the teaching profession.

In addition, ED and DOL have announced the availability of $27 million in new funding for educator preparation programs, an additional $65 million for DOL to help develop and scale more K-12 teacher RAPs, identified a new intermediary to further expand on these efforts, and issued a policy brief highlighting promising best practices amongst states. More on this announcement can be found here.

Biden Administration Issues New Cyber Education and Workforce Strategy

On Monday, July 31, the Biden Administration announced that it had completed its first-ever National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES). This strategy is intended to address the education and workforce needs of the cyber and information technology sectors of the economy. Advance CTE provided input into this strategy as it was under development. The announcement includes a number of commitments from public and private entities and makes a number of recommendations for improving education and workforce development efforts to more effectively support this segment of the economy. More on the strategy can be accessed here

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

 

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Advances FY24 Appropriations With Steep Cuts to Domestic Programs

Monday, July 17th, 2023

This week, lawmakers in the House advanced newly proposed funding legislation for the upcoming 2024 federal fiscal year (FY24). Elsewhere, Senators have introduced new data and research legislation that would improve career readiness opportunities for learners. 

House Appropriators Advance FY24 Labor-HHS-ED Legislation

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill recently for a busy three-week work period ahead of Congress’ annual August recess. Topping the agenda is the need to address annual appropriations legislation for FY24 . The recent passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), which outlines topline spending caps for FY24 and FY25 that aim to roughly freeze federal funding at current FY23 levels, was widely expected to provide lawmakers greater clarity regarding how to move forward with this process.

Shortly after the passage of the FRA, however, House Republican leadership announced plans to move forward with a series of spending bills that further reduce federal spending to FY22 funding levels, rather than FY23 levels of investment as required by the FRA. Shortly after this announcement, Senate leaders outlined plans for FY24 which align much more closely with the requirements of the FRA. In practical terms, these divergent approaches to FY24 appropriations are putting Congress on a likely path towards conflict over the direction of federal spending later this year.

In recent weeks, the House and Senate appropriations committees have advanced legislation for roughly half of the dozen individual spending bills that compose the federal budget. Late last week, Republican leaders on the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee unveiled the text of their proposed FY24 Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill–annual legislation which provides funding for programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V).* This legislation proposes an overall cut of 28 percent to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) budget when factoring existing appropriations that would be rescinded under the proposal and a 29 percent reduction in funding for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) budget. Despite these significant proposed reductions in funding, the legislation proposes to level-fund Perkins V’s basic state formula grant program at existing FY23 levels. 

Concerningly, however, the bill would dramatically reduce and in some cases entirely eliminate a slew of education and workforce development programs overseen by ED and DOL that intersect with or otherwise complement CTE. For instance, Title I funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would be reduced by 80 percent, while core Title I funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) would be reduced by more than half of current funding levels. While Advance CTE appreciates Congress’ recognition of continuing to invest in Career Technical Education (CTE), these proposals would significantly disrupt the ability of schools, districts, and institutions to provide high quality learning opportunities for all students. In light of this, Advance CTE and partners issued a statement opposing this proposal and calling on the House to reverse course on this approach to FY24 funding. 

On Friday, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and advanced this legislation along party lines. Timing for comparable appropriations efforts in the Senate regarding their Labor-HHS-ED bill are still forthcoming. Regardless, both chambers will need to reconcile differences between these visions for FY24 funding in the coming weeks and months, before the formal start of FY24 on October 1. As these efforts continue to move forward, Advance CTE is closely monitoring the process and engaging with partners on Capitol Hill to ensure the funding needs of the CTE community are realized as part of the ongoing budget and appropriations process for FY24.

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Senators Introduce CTE Data Bill 

Last Thursday, Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Young (R-IN), and Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Data for American Jobs Act (S. 2290). This legislation would make a series of updates to the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) to increase the law’s focus on CTE and more closely align state data systems and related federal investments to increase data transparency and quality. “Achieving career success for every learner through CTE requires actionable, transparent and trustworthy data. Advance CTE is pleased to support the Data for American Jobs Act, which takes important steps to leverage national research efforts and resources to promote a better understanding of CTE and advances modernized and interconnected data infrastructure for states,” said Kate Kreamer, Advance CTE’s Executive Director, upon the introduction of the legislation. The legislation comes ahead of potential consideration of ESRA by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee expected later this Congress. 

P3 Pilot Applications Announced

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) issued a notice inviting applications for selection as a Performance Partnership Pilots for disconnected youth (P3). This pilot authority has been authorized by Congress since 2014 and is aimed at better supporting disconnected youth populations by allowing ED and other federal agencies to waive certain requirements of existing federal funding streams like ESSA, Perkins V, and other similar investments. In doing so, recipients of these funds can braid and blend federal resources more easily, allowing for greater coordination of services for these populations. More on the announcement, including how to apply, can be found here

Energy Department Announces School Infrastructure Funding

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $178 million in new grant funding it has made available to local school districts in 22 states via the Renew America’s Schools grant program. This grant program was created as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The program aims to help schools and districts make improvements to facilities that improve energy efficiency and foster healthier learning environments. More information about the grants can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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