The Auto Care Association is praising Congress for passing H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.”
The bill reauthorizes the “Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act” and allocates $1.2 billion in state grants to fund vocational training at most schooling levels. With strong support from the Trump administration, the association expects that the president will sign the legislation.
“Recruiting and training young people to have the skills to work on today’s highly complex, computer-driven vehicles is a major concern of the auto care industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “The future of our industry depends on joint efforts like this one that will help ensure a larger pool of qualified job candidates. We particularly thank the bi-partisan sponsors of this legislation for their hard work to get this bill over the finish line, and we look forward to helping our members become a part of this important initiative.”
Under the legislation, high schools, colleges and training centers may apply for these grants in order to train teachers or fund specific training programs for students. Previously, these efforts were managed on the federal level by the secretary of education.
The bill moves much of the decision-making and implementation to the local level to ensure that the funds are more effectively used, and that the training meets the needs of companies that are located near the schools and training centers. A state must track performance around core indicators, such as graduation rate, and make “meaningful progress” within a two-year period in order to continue to receive federal funding.