The American Supply Association Advocacy team and CEO Mike Adelizzi recently met with Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education Scott Stump in Washington, D.C. ASA noted it is passionate about workforce development and strengthening technical education.

“The U.S. is experiencing a decline in skilled labors,” Adelizzi said. “The push for high school students to go to a four-year college has been one of the factors to contribute to this, but also high schools have deleted trade courses completely from their curriculum. This is a very important issue that is affecting ASA members and the entire plumbing and construction industries. We are committed to lead the way to ensure our members have a qualified workforce in the future to serve their customers.”

ASA supported The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and it was signed by President Trump on July 31. This act reforms and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which authorizes $1.2 billion for career and technical education in FY 2019, up from $1.1 billion in 2017. Funding for the next five years is authorized to rise modestly, reaching $1.3 billion in FY 2024. The law will take effect on July 1, 2019. This was a step in the right direction for the administration and Congress, however it is a long way from being finished, ASA stated.

The ASA Advocacy Team requested the meeting with Assistant Secretary Stump to discuss how ASA can better serve the administration and work with the Department of Education to help bring technical education back into high schools. This would ensure that the current situation of the depleting workforce across the trade industry specifically, plumbing, would receive the students and employees it needs, ASA explained.

ASA has been invited to a summit in December that will be held by the Department of Education. The purpose of the summit is to discuss how to better address workforce development and strengthening technical education. The ASA Advocacy Team is dedicated to ensure a strong relationship with the Department of Education and other agencies to be the industry’s voice in D.C., the association added.