Construction Team
AAMA members know it can be a struggle at times to find skilled workers in today’s professional environment. However, there is legislation in the works that could help address this shortage of qualified candidates. At present, a bill called H.R. 5587 is being considered, and its terms could help mitigate this ongoing burden on employers.

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act was first legislated on the federal level in 1984 and later reauthorized in 1998. The act seeks to increase the quality of technical education in the U.S. as a key component in improving the economy.

The Senate has not introduced their own Perkins reauthorization bill, but instead a bipartisan group of Senators has been working on a draft for several months. Its goal: A reauthorization that strengthens access to high quality career and technical education for all workers and all industries.

Auto manufacturing employee
Young adults face a job market vastly different than the one that existed for the prior generation. The global economy and technological advances have dramatically changed the job landscape. Quality education and training are now essential to compete in today’s workplaces. However, it seems as though federal law has not kept pace with the changes and challenges facing both students and workers. Current policies place restrictions on state leaders to invest federal resources in programs that prioritize economic growth and focus on local shortcomings. Additionally, the Department of Education often interferes with workforce decisions that should be handled by state and local leaders.

Any action to move the legislation forward will have to wait until September. In the mean time, it’s not a bad idea to weigh in with your local representative and check in on this bill every so often.