Association for Print Technologies applauds legislation to advance workforce career, technical education

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The Association for Print Technologies has commended President Trump and Congress for taking major steps to advance workforce career and technical education, which include an Executive Order establishing the National Council for the American Worker, the White House Pledge to America's Workers initiative, making the expansion of workforce development a national priority, and reauthorization of the bipartisan Perkins CTE legislation, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives by unanimous voice vote.

The reauthorized Perkins Act will align career and technical education with workforce needs, thereby helping students acquire vital skills needed for today's manufacturing jobs. Additionally it will strengthen the use of industry-recognized credentials and allow funds to be used to purchase manufacturing equipment and credentialing exams to prepare the future pipeline of manufacturing talent. It also includes several important changes to companion legislation, H.R. 2353 that passed the House last year, including increasing funding and expanding career exploration into the middle grades. The newly minted Perkins Act reauthorization now awaits the President's signature and will take effect July 1, 2019, after a transition year to allow time for planning.

Reauthorization of the Perkins Act was a top priority advocated by industry executives who meet with legislators on Capitol Hill during the 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit. Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.) were the lead co-sponsors of H. R. 2353, Perkins Act reauthorization legislation that passed the House last year and were recipients of the Summit's Friend of Print & Packaging Award for their leadership in workforce CTE.

"A bright future for the graphic communications industry depends on the next generation of highly talented people who are trained in the newest technologies to meet the new rapidly changing demands of the market," says APTech Government Affairs Chairman Brent Moncrief, vice president, strategic marketing and brand management, The Americas, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. "On behalf of our industry I thank and commend my Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and his colleague Glenn Thompson for their dedicated leadership on this topic of utmost importance."

The Presidential Executive Order establishing a National Council for the American Worker is designed to produce a national strategy on workforce development and engage a national campaign to implement the recommendations of the President's Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The Executive Order also establishes an advisory board of public and private sector leaders that will be charged with developing further recommendations. Additionally, the Department of Labor announced a new grant program to expand apprenticeships in key industry sectors.

APTech is investigating how this program might be applied in the printing industry. "We thank President Trump and his Administration for their focus and commitment to career and technical training as a key element in our vibrant economy," says APTech Vice President, Government Affairs Mark J. Nuzzaco.

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