Educating the future

The new career and technical education law presents opportunities for the roofing industry

During the inaugural Roofing Day in D.C. legislative advocacy event in March 2018, more than 400 participants converged on Capitol Hill to support the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). The legislation was designed to address future industry workforce needs by reforming career and technical education. After hearing the roofing industry speak collectively regarding a key policy issue of importance, lawmakers worked on a bipartisan basis to resolve partisan differences about the bill. The legislation was approved by Congress a few months later, and President Trump signed it into law in July 2018. This was a major victory for NRCA, partner organizations and the roofing professionals who came together for Roofing Day in D.C. 2018.

The new law reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which provides funding for career and technical educational programs operated at the state and local levels. The law authorized $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2019, an increase from $1.1 billion in 2017. Funding is authorized to rise to $1.3 billion during the next five years. The law takes effect July 1, and it will be up to state and local agencies working with the Trump administration to ensure the law is implemented as intended by Congress.

Positive changes

Reforms included in the law will promote more effective collaboration between employers and educational institutions at state and local levels. The law encourages high schools and post-secondary institutions to offer more opportunities for work-based training programs as well as incentives for students to earn industry-recognized credentials. The law also provides new ways to measure the effectiveness of career and technical educational programs and hold educational institutions accountable for attaining the overarching goal of targeting these programs to meet employers' workforce needs.