This post was contributed by a community member.
ELGIN, IL – On Monday, Congressman Krishnamoorthi convened with more than fifty state and local education leaders, including Illinois School Superintendent Tony Smith and U-46 CEO Tony Sanders, to tour career and technical education (CTE) programs at Elgin High School and South Elgin High School. During the tour, attendees met with students and teachers participating in CTE courses designed to prepare students for high-tech, in-demand jobs in the region. During the visit, Congressman Krishnamoorthi met with students studying automotive manufacturing, precision manufacturing, healthcare, and early childhood education.
“The recurring theme today in the courses we visited was the importance of robust funding and private-public coordination to ensure that students are learning skills in the career and technical education classrooms which will help them on their way to starting rewarding careers,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “I’m proud that my bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law less than a month ago, accomplishes both goals by strengthening employer involvement in Perkins CTE and providing Illinois programs an additional $17 million compared to previous law.”
Following the tour, attendees gathered for a brief panel to discuss how to take advantage of the new changes to Perkins CTE programs in order to strengthen educational equity in Illinois. In addition to Congressman Krishnamoorthi, this panel featured State Superintendent Tony Smith, U-46 CEO Tony Sanders, U-46 Director of Educational Pathways Kinasha Brown, and the Alignment Collaborative for Education Executive Director Nancy Brown.
“If we have a strong vision for the social and economic future of Illinois, then our investments must prioritize the growth and success of every individual and every community,” said State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D. “That’s exactly what leaders like Congressman Krishnamoorthi and U-46 CEO Sanders are doing in expanding opportunities for students to earn credentials, explore careers, and build the skills they need to be successful.”
Students from U-46’s CTE programs were similarly enthusiastic as Matthew Sulieman, a senior at Streamwood High School, noted “The increase in funding to CTE programs will help future students like me better understand their career options before leaving high school.”
Robert L. Pendry, another Senior at Streamwood, added: “These funds will help bring in new tools and machines to further my learning and, down the road, will help me get a job making serious money to put towards my future.”
“There are 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the United States, positions for which employers have openings but can’t find qualified employees to fill them,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “This ‘skills gap’ widens almost every month. Reforming and reauthorizing the Perkins Act was a monumental step in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do to in implementing the legislation to close the skills gap and ensure more Americans have access to good-paying, family-sustaining careers that keep them in the middle class. I look forward to continue working with state and local education leaders, students, and businesses as our effort continue.”
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August 30, 2018 at 10:31AM