Thomas backs legislation to improve career and technical education in Pennsylvania

House Bill 265 will help students find educational alternatives to build successful careers

Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) joined a majority of colleagues in passing legislation to help students find higher pay through improved educational opportunities.

Passed as part of House Bill 265, the legislation was crafted to improve career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania.

“This package will help students find educational alternatives to build successful careers through alternatives to more traditional higher education,” Thomas said. “As we improve CTE in our state, we give students and prospective students greater educational freedom, and that will only make our Commonwealth a better place to work and thrive.”

House Bill 265 was originally introduced to expand the established database to show students which courses, programs, certificates and diplomas will transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.

It was amended to:

– Simplify the process for schools to establish vocational courses
– Create a Schools-to-Work program to award grants on a competitive basis to support the establishment or enhancement of workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations to create employment and training pathways
– Require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create guidelines for when a student who successfully completes a STEM course, program or activity for credit can also apply the credit toward a course through a vocational-technical school, technical institution or vocational school
– Require the PDE to outline the state’s workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential to ensure students are aware of opportunities from a wide variety of organizations and career paths
– Allow students from community colleges and other technical and/or trade schools to attend career and college fairs

“This is important legislation I’ve fought for all term, to guide our students to fulfilling, family-sustaining jobs,” Thomas said. “This is the great pathway to obtaining higher paying jobs.”