Smith: The House of Representatives recently passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century. The measure reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. AFBF director of congressional relations RJ Karney says this is vital legislation for the future of ag businesses.
Karney: High school career and technical education programs are vital for developing talent and leadership, especially needed in farming and agricultural services, and also with regards to building economic futures in rural communities.
Smith: The bill provides career and technical education plus post-high school job training and retraining, all of which are necessary to build a skilled workforce. Skilled workers are as necessary in rural America as they are in urban areas.
Karney: It’s going to help focus job training, which will really benefit rural America to sustain jobs, all of which are necessary to sustain a skilled workforce. It’s just as critical in urban and suburban communities as it is in rural America, and so the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is providing a focus which will provide economic viability for rural communities.
Smith: He says the programs in the Perkins Act are well-rounded ag education programs, covering areas like horticulture, forestry, as well as plant and animal sciences. American Farm Bureau will be working to educate senators on benefits the legislation brings to rural communities.
Karney: The Senate has not passed a bill yet and American Farm Bureau will be working with senators to ensure that the Perkins Bill is reauthorized since it is such a critical component for achieving a viable workforce within rural communities, starting entrepreneur businesses, and furthering agricultural leaders within the agricultural system.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF