Perkins Act legislation wins support of construction associations

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Groups representing mechanical and general contractors have expressed satisfaction with the decision by the US House of Representatives to pass the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, otherwise known as the Perkins Act.

“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,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America.

“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 of America will be working aggressively to encourage the Senate to quickly pass this measure and send it to the president for his signature. 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.”

“ASHRAE commends members of the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this bipartisan bill that would modernize career and technical education and provide renewed strength that will prepare students for in-demand careers,” said ASHRAE president Tim Wentz. “We strongly encourage the Senate to build on these efforts and take bold action to provide further support for STEM education. Such action would help meet the workforce pipeline need for an estimated 115,000 new HVAC&R technicians by 2022, which will be created through growth and retirements.”

ASHRAE is a member of the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation, which is dedicated to leading an industry effort to develop and promote educational projects, programs, and partnerships to attract committed and skilled employees to a career in HVACR. More information on the Foundation can be found at


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