Indian-American Congressman’s Skills Training Law Brings Funding For Illinois

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, at the lectern, Nov. 12, at Wright College, Chicago, announcing the funding for skills training that will come to his state as a result of a bipartisan bill he and a Republican colleague led through the Congress to become a law. Seen behind him are Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, and City College of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado. (Photo: Raja Krishnamoorthi)

Democratic Congressman from Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthi’s skills-training law which passed Congress under his leadership, bore fruit for his constituents when funding for various projects was announced at a high-profile event in Chicago Nov. 12.

Rep. Krishnamoorthi, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,  and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado announced at an event in Wright College, that funding from the passage of Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s legislation The Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act, known as The Perkins Act, will support the continued modernization of CTE programs in Chicago.

The Perkins Act is the main source of federal funding for high school and postsecondary CTE programs in Illinois, a press release from the Congressman’s office noted.

“City Colleges is preparing its students with the critical skills necessary to compete and win in the 21st century, and that is only possible with legislation like The Perkins Act,” Mayor Emanuel is quoted saying in the press release. “Thanks in large part to Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s leadership, we can continue providing our students with the resources and guidance they need to succeed,” Emanuel added.

Speaking to students at Wright College, Chicago, are Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, center, and City College of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado, left. The event was held Nov. 12, to announce funding for various skills training programs that will come to Illinois as a result of a bill that Rep. Krishnamoorthi shepherded through Congress to become law. (Photo: Raja Krishnamoorthi)

The bipartisan legislation was authored by Congressman Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pennsylvania, to modernize career, technical and vocational education. The Perkins Act, which has been reauthorized for the first time since 2006, will put more than 13 million students on the path towards a family-sustaining job and career in the middle class, the press release said. Funding for CTE will increase to $1.3 billion nationwide, and up to $47 million in Illinois by 2024, a statewide increase of over $17 million in the next 6 years.

“Today we witnessed firsthand the tremendous value of Perkins CTE funding, and how it equips Chicagoans with the skills and on-the-job training needed for illustrious careers in in-demand fields like cybersecurity and information technology,” Krishnamoorthi said, adding, “From my first day in Congress, modernizing and strengthening career, technical, and vocational education has been my top priority, and getting this bipartisan legislation signed into law is a huge win for students, businesses, and workers.”

“The Perkins funding secured by Congressman Krishnamoorthi is key to ensuring that City Colleges continues to offer quality, affordable programs in high-demand fields that put Chicagoans on the path to upward mobility,” Chancellor Salgado is quoted saying.

The Perkins Act funding supports CTE programs at City Colleges, including: accounting, addiction studies, architecture, building energy technology, computer networking, computerized numerical control (CNC), criminal justice, cyber security, web development, among others.

“Chicago Public Schools has a responsibility to help students succeed after high school and the district has prioritized creating multiple college and career pathways to ensure every student can find the successful pathway that’s right for them,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Investing in career and technical education helps broaden the opportunities available to students while still in high school and provide them with an opportunity to earn career credentials. We’re grateful to our elected officials at the city, state, and federal level who have been champions for expanding CTE programming to help our students accomplish their dreams after high school,” Jackson said.




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