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CTE in the News: “Apprenticeships Could Help U.S. Workers Gain a Competitive Edge,” an Op-Ed in the Washington Post

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May 16, 2013

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CTE in the News: “Apprenticeships Could Help U.S. Workers Gain a Competitive Edge,” an Op-Ed in the Washington Post

 

By: Ashley

Stuart Eizenstat, former chief White House domestic policy advisor under President Jimmy Carter and undersecretary of commerce for international trade in the Clinton Administration, joined with Robert Lerman, a fellow at the Urban Institute, to pen an op-ed published in the Washington Post, “Apprenticeships Could Help U.S. Workers Gain a Competitive Edge.” The op-ed examines the value of apprenticeships and stresses that the United States needs more of these vital workforce development programs.

The op-ed cites the manufacturing comeback, with U.S. companies bringing operations and production back to the country as a result of improved incentives for businesses and adding manufacturing jobs to the economy. Eizenstat and Lerman point out that this revival of “goods-producing industries….provide a great opportunity to increase middle-class wages, reduce income inequality and expand social mobility.” However, there is a risk that the United States will not seize this moment to expand and strengthen our economy as the skills gap, which was to blame for 600,000 skilled labor jobs going unfilled last year, threatens to spur job-creators to look elsewhere.

“The central answer to the mismatch between jobs and employment is a 21st-century apprenticeship program, ” the op-ed reads. CTE provides apprenticeship programs or similar work-shadowing, on-the-job training that provides students with some form of credential in schools across the country (see examples in our Business and Industry resources page ) but these programs, like all CTE programs, must be further scaled up and supported by robust funding through the Perkins Act.

This op-ed makes a strong argument for CTE programs as we head into advocacy for the FY 14 appropriations cycle. Quotes from experts, particularly former elected and top officials, make great additions to your own op-ed article in support of Perkins funding in your local paper or in your letters, e-mails and calls to your Members of Congress. 

 

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