November 30, 2016

House Select Committee Releases Report On Technical Education, Career Readiness

House Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness Co-Chairs Seth Grove (R-York) and Pat Harkins (D-Erie) Wednesday released the final report on career and technical education (CTE) as required by House Resolution 102 (Saylor-R-York).
The report is the culmination of seven hearings the select subcommittee across Pennsylvania during the 2015-16 legislative session.
During the hearings, the subcommittee heard countless hours of testimony from more than 60 business and education leaders. Their input was taken into account and led to a series of recommendations on how to improve career readiness among our youth.
The subcommittee made more than 40 recommendations contained in five major categories.  Those categories are:
-- Continue Legislative Oversight of CTE Initiatives.                                      
-- Address Business and Industry Demands.                                                    
-- Strengthen Partnerships with Business and Industry.
-- Increase Access to Career and Technical Education Programs.                    
-- Confront Misperceptions regarding Career and Technical Education.
“To meet the state’s employment needs, we studied ways to better develop future generations for the workforce which will serve to improve Pennsylvania’s economy while also ensuring good-paying manufacturing jobs stay in the state,” Rep. Grove said. “The subcommittee’s report produced one of the most comprehensive CTE reports ever done by a legislative body; our committee reviewed technical and career preparation programs and business partnerships in the state.”
Rep. Harkins said, “I was honored to serve as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness with Rep. Seth Grove. We had a very productive two years of traveling around the Commonwealth gathering critical information from all the stakeholders including teachers, students, parents and employers.
“The next logical step in the process is to introduce legislation in the new session that will move forward with the House, Senate and governor collectively putting these proposals into action so as to ultimately enhance the students’ ability to learn the trades and finally achieve a marketable education and be prepared for the workforce,” Rep. Harkins said.
“This report bears out what I instinctively knew when I created the subcommittee as one of my first actions as the new Education Committee chair – that many Pennsylvanians are missing out on excellent-paying jobs by the cultural conditioning of thinking that everyone needs a four-year liberal arts degree. I strongly support the addition of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness as a permanent panel of the Education Committee. There are tremendous job opportunities out there for candidates with the right technical skills,” said Rep. Saylor.
“I appreciate the bipartisan cooperation demonstrated in this effort, and I hope we will see more of that in the next session. Education funding will once again be key if we are to help all of our students to succeed. I am pleased the subcommittee included recommendations about making it easier to transfer credits and funding programs for non-traditional learners, such as people who dropped out of high school and other ‘second-chance’ citizens,” said Rep. Roebuck.
Eight representatives – five Republicans and three Democrats – made up the subcommittee, along with Representatives Stan Saylor (R-York) and James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia), Majority and Minority Chairs of the House Education Committee who were ex-officio members of the subcommittee.
A copy of the full report is available online.