The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is a principal vehicle for funding career and technical education in this country. Over the past decade, funding levels have remained virtually stagnant, and in 2011 the Perkins Act was cut by more than $140 million (11%) to $1.1 billion. The President’s 2012 budget recommends additional cuts to Perkins. CompTIA understands that we face difficult fiscal times, but is concerned that the proposed reductions in Perkins funding is short-sighted and could have far reaching consequences in diminishing the preparation of a “career ready” workforce.
In a good or bad economy, there are hundreds of thousands of IT jobs that remain unfilled largely because there is a gap between the job available and the individualwith the skills to fill it. Perkins helps to close that gap by providing access to current technology and equipment, professional development and integration of academic and technical courses that have meaning to employers. Perkins also is crucial to career and technical colleges which are increasingly playing a role, not only to high school graduates but to displaced workers seeking to upgrade skills and enter into new or related professions.
CompTIA joins in the call to resist further cuts to Perkins. In May, 52 members of Congress signed a “dear colleague” letter to fully fund Perkins at $1.27 billion (2008 levels). We applaud this development and would urge all of our CompTIA members to support this effort. In fact, if you go to our TechVoice website, you will see that we have posted an action alert, urging you to reach out to your member of Congress to support full funding of the Perkins Act. They need to hear your voice.