July 13, 2023

Young, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Boost Career and Technical Education, Connect Hoosiers with Good Paying Jobs

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced the Data for American Jobs Act of 2023, bipartisan legislation to support career and technical education (CTE) and expand pathways to good-paying jobs. The legislation ensures that federal education data and research incorporates CTE to help improve states’ career readiness programs, meet the needs of the economy, and expand the skilled workforce.

“Investing in effective education research can significantly improve the outcomes and opportunities of students across America. However, current data collection systems exclude career and technical education (CTE), an important tool for workforce readiness. The Data for American Jobs Act would expand educational data collection to include CTE, ensuring our workforce is equipped with the right skills and knowledge for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Senator Young.

“A technical education is a proven pathway to a good-paying career in high-demand industries that are vital to our Made in Wisconsin economy. But, too often, technical education is left out of the conversation when we talk about routes to family-supporting jobs and we need to change that. I am proud to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues on this vital step for our skilled workforce by ensuring technical education is not left behind in federal data,” said Senator Baldwin.

“I grew up working in my dad’s ironworking shop, where I saw the essential role trade professionals play in our communities. Especially right now, when we’re making historic improvements to America’s infrastructure, it’s crucial that we do all that we can to support our talented workforce by increasing access to the most effective types of job training programs. This bipartisan legislation can help us identify those programs, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in getting it done,” said Senator Kaine.

CTE connects learners to in-demand skills and helps prepare tomorrow’s workforce for good-paying jobs. Federal policy, however, often neglects to include CTE and career-readiness concepts in meaningful ways, leading to missed opportunities for research and collaboration for the benefit of both students and employers.

The Data for American Jobs Act addresses this problem by ensuring that the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences appropriately incorporates CTE into its research and data collection agenda and empowers states to better use data to inform education and workforce development policy. The Data for American Jobs Act would enhance the mission of the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences to include:

  • Research relevant to career and technical education including, research on which methods are most effective for CTE learners;
  • Sharing of CTE research to inform the development of effective curricula for students and faculty;
  • Data collection on the CTE teacher workforce to address training, recruitment, and retention; and
  • Examining the workforce and labor market outcomes to help CTE programs better meet the needs of local employers.

The legislation would also support state efforts to more effectively use education and workforce data to inform education and workforce development policy.

The Data for American Jobs Act of 2023 is supported by Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), and the National Association of Workforce Boards.

“Achieving career success for every learner through CTE requires actionable, transparent and trustworthy data. Advance CTE is pleased to support the Data for American Jobs Act, which takes important steps to leverage national research efforts and resources to promote a better understanding of CTE and advances modernized and interconnected data infrastructure for states. Through this legislation, state CTE leaders will be able to more effectively communicate the value and impact of CTE and ensure CTE programs are designed and delivered in ways that help every learner achieve their education and career goals. We thank Senators Baldwin, Young, and Kaine for their work on this legislation and look forward to its enactment,” said Kate Kreamer, Executive Director of Advance CTE. 

“ACTE is pleased to support the Data for American Jobs Act to empower learners with more and better information to make education and career choices that lead to success. Better aligning data across K-12 education, postsecondary education and the workforce will help students, families and policymakers see the potential impacts of different education pathways and programs. In addition, this bill would devote additional resources to research how students benefit from CTE programs and how they are delivered. We look forward to working with Senators Baldwin, Young, and Kaine in support of this legislation,” said LeAnn Curry Executive Director of Association for Career and Technical Education. 

A one-pager on this legislation is available here.  Full bill text is available here.