IEC Submits Hearing Statement on Career and Technical Education

IEC submitted a written statement for the hearing record to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on ways to improve career and technical education. The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education invited education system representatives – both from administration and from public schools – to testify on challenges perceived and possible solutions to overcome them in “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs.”

In our written statement, IEC noted that the nation’s education system is focused on preparing students for a four-year college degree and doesn’t provide adequate emphasis on basic STEM education, competencies, life skills, and employability training.  As a result, “students are leaving school with limited mechanical ability and technical skills necessary to pursue many successful careers” such as those in the electrical industry.

IEC argued to the Subcommittee that the education system needs to recognize that a four-year college is not the best investment for every individual, and that high school teachers and advisors “need to make students aware of all career options available to them, recognizing that students will likely hold multiple jobs over their working career and will need to pursue lifelong learning.”
Among our recommendations to the Subcommittee, IEC encouraged the establishment of partnerships between the educational system and government, industry, and important skills-building organizations such as SkillsUSA and 4H. Additionally, IEC called for reauthorization of the Perkins Act and increased funding for career and technical education programs at schools as well as for programs under the Workforce Investment Act.

IEC’s full written statement for the record can be viewed here