Passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (P.L. 115- 224) on July 31, 2018 requires Illinois to create a Perkins State Plan that is formulated with the aid of meaningful stakeholder engagement. Perkins V was reauthorized to further support Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming and to better align with the needs and advancements of today’s workforce. The purpose of the Act is to more fully develop the academic knowledge and technical and employability skills of secondary and post-secondary education students who enroll in CTE programs and programs of study.
David Robinson, External Affairs Director for Manufacturing Renaissance, who leads the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council Legislative and Policy Committee, has been invited to participate. "I think this is a really positive development," said David Robinson. "I hope my participation will help focus greater attention on those outstanding youth-oriented pre-apprenticeship programs that struggle for funding and other resources," he continued.
The Illinois State Board of Education is committed to having a diverse array of voices gather to ensure that the state of Illinois presents the most inclusive, comprehensive training and education recommendations possible. They took extra care in reaching out to urban, suburban and rural educators and service providers.
Thursday, February 21st, Robinson participated in Bloomington in the first of a series of these meetings. The intent is to shape the final Perkins language so that it actually aligns with the needs of those that are providing CTE training, education, job readiness, career path, employer engagement, and related provider needs.
The organizers, ISBE and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), were emphatic about how important this opportunity is for all state stakeholders to add substantive language to the Act that better supports our work at every level and helps drive the funding to the places and communities that need them most. I was encouraged by the repeated emphasis on targeting resources to a more socially and economically diverse population. They are making a point to include people and communities of color and they are making it a top priority.