The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as H.R. 2353, last week. The bill promises to "strengthen the availability and quality of technical education in order to help the U.S. economy."
The National Marine Manufacturers Association issued a response to the bill's passing on its website:
NMMA applauds the House for passing this bill, as U.S. boating businesses have been facing a shortfall of skilled workers for manufacturing, technicians, and service repairs. In fact, a Boating Industry survey of its readers revealed 96 percent of manufacturers reported trouble filling open positions in 2016.
The bill would enable more Americans to enter the workforce with the capabilities necessary to compete for and succeed in high-skilled, in-demand careers. Specifically, the legislation looks to empower state and local community leaders by easing burdensome state application requirements for receiving Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding; improve alignment with in-demand jobs; increase transparency and accountability; and ensure a limited federal role. The amount of federal funds states can set aside would also increase from 10 to 15 percent to assist CTE programs in rural areas or those with a significant number of CTE students, establishing programs that support a state’s unique education and economic needs.