January 8, 2016
Dear Member of Congress,
We, the undersigned businesses and organizations, urge you to move forward with
reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). Employers
are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions. Career and technical
education (CTE) programs, throughout the country, are central to overcoming this skills gap.
CTE is an effective tool for improving student outcomes and helps prepare both secondary and
postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical, and employability skills required
for successful entry into the workforce. Indeed, CTE prepares students both for college and
Reauthorizing the Perkins Act is critical for the continued economic prosperity of the United
States and ensures the country remain a leader in global competitiveness. As Congress sets out on
this task, we urge you and your colleagues to focus on areas where improvements can be made to
current law, building upon its past successes and enhancing aspects of the Perkins Act, which will
help to better serve both workers and employers. A reauthorized version of Perkins should:
- Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor market;
- Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary
institutions and employers;
- Increase student participation in experiential learning opportunities such as industry
internships, apprenticeships and mentorships; and
- Promote the use of industry-recognized credentials.
These improvements will more effectively spend federal dollars to help our nation’s students
acquire the skills that they need and employers are demanding. We urge you to move forward
with this important work and applaud Congress’ ongoing, bipartisan commitment to invest in our
nation’s students, workers, and economy.