Education and the Workforce


This past summer, President Trump signed his first major education policy to strengthen workforce development and readiness in the United States, calling attention to the growing skills gap of today’s employers and the preparedness of graduates from American high schools, colleges and universities. And it marked a significant first step.

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for the first time since 2006. The law provides federal funding — over $1 billion
through fiscal year 2024 — for state and local career and technical education programs, while modifying how such funds are used to better target critical skills gaps.

Originally sponsored by U.S. Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pennsylvania., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, the Act provides a new pathway to success. The Act would make updates to career and technical education to ensure all students, including special populations, have access to high-quality programs; help recruit and retain CTE educators, and provide workers and students the skills they need to find high-skill, high-wage or in-demand jobs. And it comes at a critical time.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now more jobs available — 6.7 million — than unemployed Americans seeking jobs, which stands at 6.3 million. Among other factors, there is evidence to show that there are insufficient numbers of qualified job seekers for the positions that are available, a number which continues to grow.

In this month’s Business Magazine, we’ll examine the topic of education and the workforce and why strengthening and improving career education is critical. We’ll hear from Logistics Plus CEO Jim Berlin on how the logistics and transportation company’s recruiting and retention efforts are leading to a “brain gain” in the Erie region and around the world. We’ll also hear from Penn State Behrend’s Ivor Knight, Ph.D., about the new Master of Manufacturing Management (MMM) program and what it can mean for today’s employers.

Plus, we’ll showcase the many resources that are available to organizations to develop and maintain a well-trained workforce for the future, including the Manufacturer & Business Association’s own professional development and computer training courses. Be sure to check out the upcoming offerings in our newest quarterly Training Catalog to see what may benefit your organization!

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