Smucker-Supported Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Career and Technical Education Passes Committee

May 17, 2017
Press Release
Pictured above: Rep. Smucker visits Reading Area Community College

Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Education and the Workforce today passed bipartisan legislation to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills necessary to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) supported the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act as an original cosponsor, and voted with a bipartisan group of his colleagues to advance this bill one step closer to becoming law.

“I have my own experience with non-traditional education. I took college courses at night while operating a small construction company during the day,” said Rep. Smucker. “It’s important we accommodate the needs of many different types of students that are ready to learn and willing to work. State and local education leaders know their students better than bureaucrats in Washington. This bill will help those leaders align their priorities based on the specific needs of their students. I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this important bill.”


Rep. Smucker toured Reading Area Community College and the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences – both of which offer CTE programs – and spoke directly with faculty, students, and staff about how these programs can be improved. Additionally, he has a close relationship with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology that dates back to his time in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Rep. Smucker also hosted a conference call with CTE stakeholders in the 16th District on which he learned more about the demand to grow CTE programs. Those on the call included presidents of CTE schools, the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA), and Berks, Chester, and Lancaster County Intermediate Units.

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Building on recent reforms to K-12 education and the workforce development system, Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The bipartisan legislation will help more Americans — especially young Americans — enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills they need to compete in industries critical to the nation’s economy. The bill:

  • Empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
  • Improves alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Increases transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure CTE programs deliver results, empowering parents, students, and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Ensures a limited federal role by reining in the secretary of education’s authority, limiting federal intervention, and preventing political favoritism.

You can read more about this bill here.