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Education and Workforce Organizations Announce New Skills for America -- NOW! Coalition
Date:4/27/2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of education and workforce organizations is launching a new coalition called Skills for America--NOW! during an event on Capitol Hill tonight from 5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-338. The honorary host for tonight's event is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, with more than 60 Members of Congress, and it is sponsored by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., an organization with 100 campuses across the nation. The coalition was organized to meet the nation's serious challenge of re-skilling millions of American workers and assuring the right skills at the right time for the future American workforce.

Skills for America--NOW! represents some of the nation's most important organizations who have come together to develop a set of recommendations for Congress and the Obama Administration. The coalition is seeking:

  • New funding to create a special "Skills for America--NOW! Fund" that focuses on the most effective evidence-based strategies for re-training America's current workers and preparing future workers for the jobs of tomorrow. This would be targeted, competitive funding based on demanding criteria for skill outcomes and employment success consistent with the innovation funds approach of the Obama Administration and Congress.
  • A payroll tax credit to employers for enhanced employee training.
  • For President Obama to create a position as "Counselor to the President for Skills in America," who would be the designated leader to coordinate and focus the nation's CTE resources from both the public and private sectors.
  • To create a permanent government position called "Assistant Secretary for Human Capital" in an appropriate department. This position would assess, recommend and, as appropriate, lead the government's work investments and policies related to human capital.

"It's important that policymakers, educators and community members understand the value of career and technical education," said Rep. Brian Baird (WA-3), co-chair for the CTE Caucus. "This new coalition will help inform policymakers on the fundamental need for CTE. CTE not only provides students with technical skills, but it gives students academic and employability skills that will put them in high demand with potential employers. CTE is essential for the sake of our students and, ultimately, our economy."

Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH-14) adds, "In order to fill the high-demand jobs in today's economy, we need to continue to develop high-quality CTE programs at both the secondary and postsecondary level and to build partnerships between education and the business community. The coalition is a great example of how organizations with different missions can form a partnership with a common goal to build an educated and trained workforce."  

Coalition members include: ACTE, The CTE Foundation; Career College Association; Home Builders Institute; Comp/TIA; National Center for Construction Education and Research; Education Commission of the States; Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute; Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association; Independent Electrical Contractors; and Society for Human Resource Management.

Together they represent thousands of employees, tens of thousands of teachers and instructors and hundreds of thousands of hiring managers and a broad range of state policy makers. For more information about the coalition, please e-mail Sabrina Kidwai at skidwai@acteonline.org.


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SOURCE Skills for America - NOW!
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