Reed & Baldwin Seek to Strengthen U.S. Workforce Through Enhanced Adult Education Offerings

CTE for All Act will help working-age adults build their job skills and advance,
with an emphasis on high-demand jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – As the Senate works toward passage of bipartisan legislation to
reauthorize a career and technical education program for students nationwide, U.S.
Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are working to include a key
measure that would help working-age adults build their skills and strengthen states’
abilities to offer more career-technical or skills-based classes. The Career and
Technical Education for Adult Learners Act (S. 3349, also known as the «CTE for ALL
Act»), introduced this month by Senator Reed and cosponsored by Senator Baldwin,
will help American businesses close the skills gap by amending the Carl D. Perkins
Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act) to improve pathways for adults to
attain career and technical education.

A 2013 Survey of Adult
Skills
found that millions of America’s working adults have low literacy, numeracy, and/or
digital problem solving skills. The skills gap has no age barrier, with half of the
low-skilled working adults under the age of 45. And many workers who could benefit
from CTE are in the health care, construction, manufacturing, and hospitality
fields, yet they’re not participating in learning opportunities.

«There is no «one size fits all» pathway to a successful career. But education
leads to opportunity. And programs that blend basic skills and occupational
training can help adult learners maximize their potential and increase their earning
power,» said Senator Reed. «This bill takes a results-oriented approach to better
aligning our education and workforce training initiatives with high-demand sectors.
Enhancing adult education helps American workers learn new skills and improve their
lives. It can help lift individuals, communities, and businesses together because
the more skilled workers who are out there earning a paycheck, the more demand there
is for the goods and services our businesses offer.»

«There is a growing understanding that career and technical education is one of the
most effective vehicles for responding to labor market changes and the workforce
readiness needs of business and industry,» said Senator Baldwin. «The CTE for ALL
Act will strengthen career and technical education programs and create more
opportunity for working-age adults. This legislation will help ensure that our
workforce is better equipped for the high-skilled jobs of the future, meet the needs
of businesses, and raise incomes for workers.»

Specifically, the CTE for ALL Act will:

* Ensure that programs funded under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical
Education Act are aligned with adult education programs and industry sector
partnerships authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

* Allow states to develop core indicators of performance for adult learners that
are aligned with the indicators of performance in the Workforce Innovation and
Opportunity Act.

* Include the state director of adult education in the development of the state
plan for career and technical education.

* Clarify that adult education providers that also offer career and technical
education programs are eligible to receive funds under the Carl D. Perkins Career
and Technical Education Act.

* Encourage a greater emphasis on work experiences as part of career and
technical education programs.