State House votes to expand career, technical education

HARRISBURG, March 19 – A bipartisan bill looking to boost career and technical education unanimously passed the state House of Representatives today, according to prime sponsor Rep. Gerald Mullery.

"As a commonwealth, it’s important that we train students for the jobs that will be available in the future; and successful career and technical education programs do just that,” said Mullery, D-Luzerne.

"In many areas of the state, various CTE stakeholders are engaging in meaningful partnerships to encourage a continuum of career and workforce development opportunities for our students. However, there is a need to focus on encouraging the expansion of quality programs into other parts of the state and even statewide.

"Before we can accomplish that goal -- we must gather a complete accounting of existing CTE programs and use those programs as a model to build and foster local cooperation across the spectrum of stakeholders to improve career opportunities for students in their local communities," he said.

Under Mullery’s H.B. 394, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Industry would conduct an inventory of existing workforce development programs at both the secondary and postsecondary levels with particular emphasis on opportunities for business-education partnerships. The goal would be to share those best practices learned with the various entities to help improve the delivery of career-focused opportunities.

Expanding career and technical education is part of the Plan4PA, the House Democrats’ proposal for creating and sustaining good jobs. More information can be found at www.plan4pa.com.

The bill heads to the state Senate for consideration.