WASHINGTON — National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons praised the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act.

“This bipartisan legislation empowers a new generation of American workers to improve their lives with high-tech, high-paying jobs in modern manufacturing,” said Timmons. “Tax reform and regulatory relief have powered tremendous manufacturing growth, but to fill the jobs manufacturers are creating, we need more workers with the right skills. Our research shows there will be as many as 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025 if we don’t take additional steps to upskill our workforce, which is why the NAM has worked so hard to get this bill to the finish line.

“Today's vote sending Perkins CTE reauthorization to President Trump’s desk is a major step toward closing the skills gap and addressing this challenge."

The NAM has been a key supporter of Perkins CTE reauthorization. The NAM earlier this year urged the Senate HELP Committee to advance reauthorization legislation and organized a coalition of nearly 500 business and education groups in support of the program. In addition, NAM members highlighted the need to reauthorize Perkins CTE at multiple hearings before Congress.

In the NAM’s latest quarterly outlook survey, manufacturers cited attracting and retaining a quality workforce as their number-one concern.

For more information, visit www.nam.org.