Open Letter to the Trump Administration and Members of Congress from Career Education Colleges and Universities in Response to State of the Union Call to “Invest in Workforce Development and Job Training”
January 31, 2018 – Arlington, VA – CECU President and CEO Steve Gunderson sent an open letter to President Trump, his administration and Members of Congress today in response to last night’s State of the Union address where President Trump called on Congress to “invest in workforce development and job training.”
In the open letter Gunderson writes:
“America’s career education colleges and universities have an important role to play in workforce development and job training. We look forward to working with the Administration, the Congress and the American people in a bipartisan way to advance policies that provide career skills for students that lead to real jobs, with real salaries and a real chance at a place in America’s middle class.”
CECU has lead the way in calling for reforms to federal policy that will modernize and connect higher education to jobs as Congress considers reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. In a recent op-ed, Gunderson wrote: “Because most jobs today require some level of postsecondary education, the Higher Education Act has become our nation’s workforce investment strategy.” Last spring, CECU convened a taskforce of over 70 education leaders throughout postsecondary education, and earlier this year unveiled a set of over 40 recommendations to improve and modernize the HEA in the 115th Congress. Read more here.
In 2016, CECU and the postsecondary career education sector embarked on a long-term commitment to create five million career professionals in the decade ahead. The goal of the campaign was to outline the importance of career education in meeting the job demand of the 21st century by connecting academic and occupational government data to local employment projections. First-year results of the campaign show that career colleges and universities produced about 630,000 academic awards last year. With 46.5 million workers needed to fill jobs by 2024, investing in America’s career colleges and universities is of paramount importance.
A full copy of CECU’s open letter to the Trump Administration and Members of Congress is available here and below.
January 31, 2018
Dear President Trump, Secretary DeVos, Secretary Acosta and Members of Congress:
As the nation’s postsecondary career education association, we are excited to hear President Trump’s remarks in last night’s State of the Union calling on Congress to invest in workforce development and job training.
Today, the Higher Education Act has become our nation’s workforce investment strategy. It is imperative to update our higher education policies in ways that produce future skilled workers enhancing U.S. competitiveness, and ultimately, our nation’s economy.
By 2024, America will need 46.5 million new workers. This number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics looks at both replacement needs and new jobs that do not yet exist today, but will tomorrow. At the same time, 65 percent of all replacement jobs and 85 percent of all new jobs will require some level of postsecondary education. We call upon Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act in this session to recognize the impact that this law has on the developing and expanding workforce, which increasingly requires trained workers to fill the job demand of the 21st century.
Postsecondary career education institutions train workers for high-demand careers in allied health, nursing, information technology, maintenance, and many more vocational professions. In 2016, the sector launched a long-term commitment to create five million career professionals in the decade ahead. This campaign reflects the goal to connect students and skills to job demand in fields that are in need of trained career professionals in the coming decade.
America’s career education colleges and universities have an important role to play in workforce development and job training. We look forward to working with the Administration, the Congress and the American people in a bipartisan way to advance policies that provide career skills for students that lead to real jobs, with real salaries and a real chance at a place in America’s middle class.
CECU President and CEO
If you are interested in speaking with Mr. Gunderson please contact Clay Sutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-236-8227.
About Career Education Colleges & Universities
The Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. CECU has about 500 member campuses that educate and support millions of students for employment in over 200 occupational fields. CECU member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs, including masters and doctorate degrees, two- and four-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and short-term certificate and diploma programs.