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Rep. Williams Supports Career and Technical Education (CTE) Jobs

May 21, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Roger Williams (TX-25) introduced the Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act and the Student Debt Alternative and CTE Awareness Act. Both pieces of legislation encourage more Americans to pursue Career and Technical Education paths and to consider the financial obligations that come with a 4-year degree.

“America is in critical need of skilled workers- plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and countless other skilled professions. These professionals are the lifeblood of our economy.” said Congressman Williams. 

“This week I proudly introduced two pieces of legislation that will increase participation in the technical fields and improve awareness of alternatives to traditional higher education opportunities. The first bill would require the Department of Education to inform prospective college students of the benefits of CTE, before they finalize student loans and commit to a university. The second would allow Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers to assist recent CTE graduates in starting up a small business or connecting with an existing business in need of their skillset. Costly 4-year degrees create burdensome financial obligations and saddles students with decades of debt, whereas CTE programs reduce education times to 6-24 months for a fraction of the cost. Skilled technicians make extraordinary contributions to the economy, without them, the American people would be without the critical services that we too often take for granted. It’s also crucially important that we continuously replenish our skilled workforce, these two bills will have a considerable effect on achieving that goal.”

H.R. 3366: Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act

The bill will amend the Small Business Act to direct Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) to assist small businesses in hiring graduates from career and technical education programs, in addition to the existing services SBDCs and WBCs provide. The bill also supports career and technical education graduates by directing SBDCs and WBCs to assist them in starting up a small business.

Cosponsor of the Bill:  

"Strengthening our trades programs is a key component of building an economy that works for everyone," said Congresswoman Marie Newman (D-IL-03). "I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which will both increase awareness of CTE programs and integrate CTE graduates in our local small business networks. We must ensure that all youth have the opportunity and resources they need to develop these critical skills that will lead them to good-paying jobs in America." 

Supporting Group:

“I applaud the introduction of the Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act, which will provide career and technical education (CTE) graduates with additional support as they enter the workforce, or start their own businesses. CTE provides a path to high-skill, in-demand careers, and CTE programs also provide talented workers to help businesses innovate and grow. Supporting and hiring CTE graduates is critical to a strong small business community. ACTE is proud to support this bill, and we look forward to working with Congress to secure its enactment.” - LeAnn Wilson, Executive Director of Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)

H.R. 3365: The Student Debt Alternative and CTE Awareness Act

The bill will require the Department of Education to publish information on the Office of Federal Student Aid website regarding general CTE information, CTE programs in all 50 states, and Perkins funding. Additionally, the FAFSA application must include a one-page summary about CTE programs and how they are a viable alternative to a 4-year degree and requires applicants to sign an acknowledgment box before starting their FAFSA application.

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Congressman Roger Williams represents the 25th Congressional District of Texas and serves as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and as Vice-Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee.