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Letter: Business Roundtable Urges Senate to Pass Bipartisan Perkins Act Reauthorization

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 
Majority Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building  
Washington, DC  20510
The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Democratic Leader
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC  20510 
Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:
On behalf of the CEO members of Business Roundtable, whose companies employ more than 16 million people, I urge the Senate to pass S.3039, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Act.  
By supporting career and technical education programs that provide students and adults with real pathways to meaningful careers, the Perkins Act is critically important to ensuring a prosperous future for Americans and for our nation.
The reauthorization of these programs comes at a critical time. It is the first time on record that the number of U.S. job openings is larger than the number of people unemployed and actively looking for work. Our CEO members know that we need more proven pathways to fill these positions – many of which do not require a traditional four-year college degree – with diverse, qualified talent. 
You have the opportunity to build upon and open up these pathways by modernizing the Perkins Act with updates that include:
  • Aligning CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state and local labor market;
  • Supporting effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
  • Increasing student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
  • Promoting the use of industry-recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials.
Again, we urge the Senate to pass this bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Perkins Act and are eager to see this bill signed into law. 
Wes Bush 
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Chair, Education and Workforce Committee
Business Roundtable