A huge win for workforce development, as congress reauthorized the Perkins Act, Senate Bill S.3217, in a bipartisan effort to strengthen the skilled labor market. The law secures federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary technical education.
The Career and Technical Education bill (CTE) has been signed into law and will go into effect July 2019. For the next 3 years (and possibly 5 years), $1.2B will be allocated annually for grants to drive training for “in demand” occupations. The law reads, in part:
“providing teachers, faculty, school leaders, administrators, specialized instructional support personnel, career guidance and academic counselors, or paraprofessionals, as appropriate, with opportunities to advance knowledge, skills, and understanding of all aspects of an industry, including the latest workplace equipment, technologies, standards, and credentials”
Jeff Buczkiewicz, President of the Mason Contractors Association of America said, “The Reauthorization of the Perkins Act should help local markets address their labor shortages locally. We are hopeful that the construction sector will get fair access to the programs as the program is implemented and [we are] excited about the opportunity this program presents.”
Brian Carney, Vice President of SPEC MIX, believes the timing of this piece of legislation and funding couldn’t come at a better time. “Having the support of the government will further energize the masonry industry’s ongoing workforce development campaign to gain a new generation of skilled craftsmen and innovators to strengthen masonry’s legacy.”
Read the entire bill here.