09.16.14

Baldwin Leads Career and Technical Education Briefing on Skills Training and the Needs of the 21st Century Workforce

Panel Discussion includes Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, as co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, joined her fellow co-chairs U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to kick off a public briefing and panel discussion on the current opportunities and challenges in aligning skills training with the needs of the 21st century workforce. Baldwin recently introduced the CTE Opportunity Act to extend eligibility for federal student loans to short-term career and technical education programs, offering increased access to courses that provide students with the industry-recognized credentials that employers are looking for.

“Career and technical education provides promise for the unemployed or underemployed looking to improve their skills in order to obtain high-wage and high-skill jobs,” said Baldwin.  “The business community has been clear on the need for a highly-trained workforce for in-demand fields. CTE provides the knowledge and skills that our students desire and our economy needs. I’m proud to have introduced the CTE Opportunity Act to help ensure that CTE students have the opportunity to more affordably obtain important in-demand skills and succeed in the workforce.” 

The panel featured leaders from the education, business and government sectors in Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio and the U.S. Department of Labor who shared their perspectives on the best practices and policies for supplying employers with a skilled workforce and providing students with the training necessary to find employment. The panel included Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College in Kenosha. Albrecht spoke to the importance of post-secondary short-term certificate and apprenticeship training programs, many of which are offered at Gateway, helping to build the workforce of tomorrow and aligning with the needs of local employers. He also focused on the importance of ensuring that students entering into these programs have access to federal aid.

"Changing the economic conditions of a community starts with investing in its citizens,” said Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College. “The CTE Opportunity Act introduced by Senator Baldwin provides a critical link in helping students earn the necessary industry credentials for success in competitive workplace environments. Post-secondary short-term certificate programs directly align with the needs of local economy and have some of the highest job placement rates in the country."

Earlier this month, Baldwin visited Madison Area Technical College and Milwaukee Area Technical College to discuss this legislation and college affordability with Wisconsin students.

A recording of the briefing can be found here