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NSBA Statement Opposing the Trump Administration’s Proposed Workforce Education Cuts

In respose to the Trump Administration's Proposed Workforce Education cuts, NSBA Executive Director & CEO Thomas J. Gentzel released the following statement:

“NSBA is deeply disappointed by the Trump administration’s cuts to the 2020 budget proposal, which asks Congress to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from federal workforce programs, such as apprenticeship initiatives and education and training programs, that help disadvantaged youth gain access to training opportunities.

“Strengthening and modernizing training and apprenticeship programs is important and significantly cutting resources from such initiatives is counter-productive at this critical moment when workforce education is needed.

“Tens of thousands of well-paying jobs remain open as businesses struggle to find enough workers equipped with the right skills. Given this disconnect, NSBA believes that the nation must quickly identify new strategies to meet industries’ significant existing needs for skilled workers, while also cultivating the creative and highly-skilled workers that businesses need now and in the future. Great local schools that provide innovative and community-supported programs to students of rich classroom learning and hands-on workplace learning opportunities are essential to addressing this growing problem.

“A report by NSBA’s Center for Public Education (CPE) shows that across the country high schools are offering different programs—such as career pathways and certifications—to acquaint teenagers with workplace demands. The report cites research proving that modern apprenticeships have been shown to produce lower youth unemployment, high-skilled workers that meet industry needs, and meaningful lifelong learning. The Administration’s proposed budget undercuts recognized strategies to help students better prepare to enter the world of work, which will produce a larger workforce gap.

“Supporting school board initiatives to promote students’ academic success and workforce readiness is among NSBA’s top priorities. As part of this important work, NSBA recently established the Commission to Close the Skills Gap to facilitate communications with businesses and school leaders. The Commission will release a report next month about the critical skills necessary to close the current workforce gap.

“We urge Congress to reject these proposed cuts and instead strengthen workforce investments, like apprenticeships programs, that are proven to help students prepare for workforce success. Greater investments in workforce readiness provide the foundational investments many communities need for effective public-private partnerships between our school districts and businesses to ensure economic sustainability.”

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