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Byrne Votes for Career and Technical Education Bill

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) spoke on the floor of the US House of Representatives in favor of legislation to HR5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act which Byrne says will boost and reform our nation’s career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The House passed the bipartisan HR5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, by a vote of 405 to 5.

During debate Rep. Byrne s said, “Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity is visit the new career and technical education classrooms at Saraland High School. From welding to engineering to IT, these programs are going to make a real difference, and I was so impressed to see CTE getting the attention it deserves.”

Rep. Byrne, who was the head of Alabama’s two year college system during the Riley Administration, said, “For too long, we have devalued the importance of career and technical education here in America. The programs were seen as some sort of second rate option for students who couldn’t make it otherwise. That simply isn’t the case. Instead, CTE programs offer real opportunities to students of all ages and from all backgrounds. And, with this bill, we are making it clear that career and technical education is a critical educational option that leads to good-paying jobs.”

Byrne added, “This bill makes important reforms to our CTE programs, with a special emphasis on ensuring the programs focus on in-demand skill areas in order to close the skills gap and boost economic growth.”

According to information shared by Rep. Byrnes office, HR5587 would: empower state and local community leaders, improve alignment with in-demand jobs, increase transparency and accountability, and ensure a limited federal role. The legislation is supported by a range of organizations including: the US Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Association of School Boards, the School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was authored by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) who recently said, “This is an an opportunity bill.” “We are helping people get good-paying jobs. We are providing an exit strategy from poverty, for people to attain the American Dream.”

According to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), CTE programs are especially critical at a time when more than 94 million Americans are not taking part in the labor force.

The bill now goes to the US Senate.

Congressman Byrne is a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee along with Representative Thompson. Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.

 

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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