Rep. Kristi Noem today hosted a roundtable in Watertown with local job creators and educators to discuss South Dakota’s workforce development needs. During the event, she heard from area business leaders and administrators at Lake Area Tech about the work already being done, the potential impact of a recent House-passed bill to support career and technical education, and the lessons learned in South Dakota that could be shared nationwide.

“We need to build stronger relationships between those training our workforce and those hiring our workforce,” said Noem. “South Dakota’s tech schools, including Lake Area Tech, have done a tremendous job educating folks for good-paying, in-demand jobs, but we must keep the momentum going. I’m grateful to everyone who participated today and offered insight on building opportunity for South Dakotans in a growing, modernized economy. Academia and business can’t operate independently of each other, which makes discussions like today’s so important.”

In June 2017, Noem helped pass H.R.2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, through the U.S. House of Representatives. While the legislation awaits Senate action, the bill would:

  • Empower state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
  • Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Increase transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results, empowering parents, students, and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Ensure a limited federal role by reining in the secretary of education’s authority, limiting federal intervention, and preventing political favoritism.

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