WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation today, the Career and Technical Education Research and Outreach Act of 2018, to authorize research into the best ways to promote career and technical education (CTE) to students, including the best ways to involve teachers, school counselors, and parents, and the effectiveness of different forms of CTE.

“Our education system is not one size fits all. We should be training and connecting our students to the jobs of tomorrow that business are creating today,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation will help us learn what forms of career and technical education are most effective and the best ways to involve schools, parents, guardians and teachers to prepare their students for success.”

“As an advocacy organization focused on ensuring that every worker and industry has the skills they need to compete and prosper, National Skills Coalition supports Senator Klobuchar’s introduction of the Career and Technical Education Research and Outreach Act. This legislation aims to strengthen federal CTE research—allowing for the improvement of existing CTE delivery models and the development of new programs. At a time when the success of our economy depends on a reliable worker pipeline, improving the quality of skills-based education and training is more important than ever,” said Katie Brown, Senior Federal Policy Analyst at the National Skills Coalition.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current number of job openings is at a record 6.7 million nationally. While middle-skill jobs that require some education beyond a high school diploma but not a 4-year degree account for more than half of the labor market in the U.S., only 43 percent of all workers are trained at that level. The Career and Technical Education Research and Outreach Act would help examine ways to increase the number of workers trained for these in-demand jobs.

Klobuchar has led national efforts to expand apprenticeship opportunities and strengthen Minnesota’s workforce. Klobuchar’s bipartisan American Apprenticeship Act would help create and expand pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs. The Klobuchar-backed Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2017 would create a tax incentive for businesses to embrace apprenticeship programs, accelerate the adoption of the apprenticeship model, and boost training and education available to workers. In 2015, Klobuchar successfully pushed for a $5 million grant from the Department of Labor to strengthen partnerships between Minnesota community colleges and local businesses and expand apprenticeship programs. The Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) was launched with the funding Klobuchar helped secure. By 2020, MAI will provide training for 1,000 apprentices in growing fields like advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology, and transportation. Minnesota recently received an additional $1.8 million federal apprenticeship grant to continue expanding registered apprenticeships throughout Minnesota.