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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Secretary Solis Shares DOL Priorities on Hill

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March 23, 2012

By: Alisha

On Wednesday, March 21, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on the Administration’s budget request. This followed her earlier testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee last week and hit on many of the same themes.

The Secretary outlined the current state of the economic recovery and recent growth, but emphasized that 12.8 million Americans are still unemployed, with 43% of those long-term unemployed. She reiterated the President’s blueprint for growth to address this issue (first laid out in the State of the Union), including “strengthening American manufacturing, American energy, education, and skills training for workers in a way that is consistent with American values.” She called on Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, and emphasized the need for more training programs, particularly highlighting the role of community colleges.

Secretary Solis was asked about the Ryan budget, which was being marked up by the Budget Committee the same day. She said it would have “devastating effects” on the workforce development system, particularly on populations most in need of support, such as veterans and youth.

Like in the prior hearing, much of the focus was actually on current regulatory issues rather than the budget itself. Members of Congress asked about the Department’s proposals to amend rules related to agriculture and child labor, an issue ACTE has been following, as well as proposals related to wage and hour rules for in-home care services and the advice exemption in labor management reporting, which are not related to CTE.

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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.

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