On Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, 2016, the U.S. House passed the Perkins Act legislation, a.k.a. the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.

This legislation brings measures to address construction workforce shortages one step closer to enactment, making it easier for school districts to teach construction skills and improving certification options.

The CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the Act’s passage in the House:

“The fact an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of the House approved this new career and technical education legislation is a clear sign that members of Congress understand the need to provide more students with the skills they need to enter high-paying careers like construction. Significantly, this new legislation includes reforms we have long advocated to allow school officials to offer programs that local employers need. In addition, the measure opens the way for greater acceptance of industry-recognized credentials within school programs, something we also have long championed.

“Moving forward, the [AGC] will be working aggressively to encourage the Senate to quickly pass this measure and send it to the president for his signature,” Sandherr continued. “The last thing our economy can afford is to continue preparing students for jobs that don’t exist while employers search in vain for workers with skills that aren’t taught.”