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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Senate Manufacturing Initiative Includes CTE

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October 30, 2013

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Senate Manufacturing Initiative Includes CTE

Yesterday, Senator Chris Coons (D-CT) announced the Senate Democrat’s new “Manufacturing Jobs for America” initiative. Hoping to break through the partisan gridlock in Congress to create a “manufacturing revival,” the initiative is a collaboration of more than a dozen Senators and consists of 40 bills centered on four themes:

  1. Strengthening America’s 21st Century Workforce
  2. Expanding Access to Capital
  3. Opening Markets Abroad
  4. Creating the Conditions Necessary for Growth

The “Strengthening America’s 21st Century Workforce” theme includes several bills that ACTE has been involved with that would provide support for additional career and technical education in manufacturing and other STEM fields. CTE’s inclusion in this initiative is a smart step and we encourage the Senate to continue utilizing CTE as an effective and efficient method to prepare students for the in-demand career fields of today and tomorrow.

Local business and industry have already recognized to ability of CTE to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing and have been partnering with schools like the new Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy (GWAMA) which opened this fall.

GWAMA opened its doors to high school juniors and seniors in Waco, TX, interested in intensively exploring careers in advanced manufacturing. Students at GWAMA are enrolled in rigorous manufacturing coursework, such as manufacturing engineering, flexible manufacturing, precision metal manufacturing and welding. Students also have the opportunity to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world surroundings during internships with the school’s local business partners.

GWAMA graduates will leave the school with industry-recognized certifications and dual-credit college hours transferrable to Texas State Technical College and, if they enter the workforce, can expect starting wages of $13/hour. The academy is supported by many local manufacturing businesses that offer curriculum support, mentorships, internships and equipment.

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