Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and her colleagues on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed H.R. 2353 -- the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. This bipartisan legislation empowers state and local governments and will help more Americans—especially young Americans—enter the workforce with the tools and knowledge they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.

 “The Perkins Career and Technical Education Act helps to equip students with the skills and experience they need to find jobs that will lead to long, fruitful careers,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This is especially important in the North Country which is home to many industries ranging from bus and train manufacturing to paper mills and a workforce that is eager for continued opportunity. This important legislation provides a needed update to this program.”

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act will help more individuals gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed by:

  • Empowering State and Local Community Leaders
  • Improving Alignment with In-Demand Jobs
  • Increasing Transparency and Accountability
  • Ensuring a Limited Federal Role

An initiative championed by Rep. Stefanik to allow for arts and design integration under the State Leadership Activities and Local Use of Funds sections was included in this legislation.

“One issue I hear from businesses in my district is that they have a desire to find more employees who are not only technically proficient but also possess the creative and design skills found in the arts,” added Stefanik, Co-Chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus. “As our world’s challenges become more complex employers need workers who can think outside of the box and creatively attack problems. This holds true whether you are manufacturing a vehicle door, maintaining an automated system or designing the cockpit of a new aircraft, these skills are in demand and we need 21st Century career and technical education to train tomorrow’s workforce. This additional use of funds would support the addition of art and design skills training - when appropriate - into career and technical education programs. It is critical that programs and students who may benefit from exposure and training in the arts have the ability to do so.”

For bill text, click here.