President Trump signed legislation Tuesday that renews a federal workforce development program, sending $1.2 billion a year to states but with fewer requirements from Washington on how to spend the money and assess the success of programs.
The legislation drew bipartisan support.
“Now more than 11 million students and workers will have greater access to better training and more jobs,” Trump said at an event at Tampa Bay Technical High School in Florida. “When we invest in our workers, we are investing in our people.”
The measure drew special attention from Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.
Earlier in Washington, after the president signed the bill, Ivanka Trump said on Twitter: “This important legislation will benefit millions of students + workers nationwide & equip them with the skills they need to thrive in our modern economy.”
The legislation renews the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the primary federal funding source for career and technical-education programs offered in high schools and after graduation. Typically, the programs combine academic instruction with occupational skills training.
Career and technical education has drawn bipartisan support as policymakers look for ideas to help people who may not be prepared for or interested in a four-year-college program.
Backers estimate the program will help 11 million people develop knowledge and skills needed to find well-paying jobs. That includes students in high school programs and those run by community colleges and technical schools.
The renewed program bars the education secretary from setting local or state standards, and it reduces the secretary’s role in approving state plans for spending the money. Under the previous version of the initiative, states had to negotiate with Washington over their goals for the program, specifically what percentage of students they aimed to graduate from high school. Now these levels will be determined by the states within certain parameters.