Pittsburgh, PA--Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin today issued the following statement upon the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 2353 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century.
The U.S. Senate approved the legislation earlier in the week; H.R. 2353 has been sent to President Trump for his signature. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill into law.
"PIA applauds Congress on passage of Strengthening Career and Technical Education (Perkins CTE) for the 21st Century legislation, considered by both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this week and sent to President Trump earlier today for his expected signature. We hope the President will sign this bill into law in short order so that the printing and graphic communications industry can address the critical need of recruiting and educating a new generation of skilled workers.
Importantly, this iteration of Perkins CTE demonstrates new vision and modernization of the vocational tech programs of old. With a focus on improved program quality, closing of the skills gap, worked-based learning curricula, and increased collaboration among students, industry, and employees, the future for talent recruitment and development will be brighter for our industry.
PIA member companies have said loud and clear that finding skilled employees is one of the primary challenges in the printing and graphic communications industry today. For the past two years, PIA has pushed hard for Congressional reauthorization of Perkins CTE. Earlier this year, PIA was part of a massive grassroots effort in which over 500 trade associations came together to urge Congress to act. PIA has also sent delegations of printers to Capitol Hill to personally advocate for Perkins CTE passage at the 2017 and 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summits.
PIA also commends the exemplary bipartisan efforts demonstrated throughout the Perkins CTE legislative process and the leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and Workforce on this issue. We reserve a special "shout out" to Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), both of whom were recently honored with the 2018 Friend of Print and Packaging Award in recognition of their commitment to career and technical education policy."