SMRP applauds today’s signing of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, authorizing at least $1 billion in grants for students to receive on-the-job training in technical career fields lacking skilled workers.
“The skills gap and resulting labor shortage are topics our members are all too familiar with as maintenance, reliability and physical asset management professionals,” said Erin Erickson, SMRP executive director. “A factor that is often overlooked in understanding the gap is the decrease in educational opportunities for skilled trades, preventing a new generation from filling the gap.”
SMRP is supportive of policies and legislation that increase access to high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) and worked to ensure that the Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act was supported to sustain the next generation of maintenance, reliability and physical asset management professionals.
Early this year, SMRP held two government fly-ins on Capitol Hill, meeting with influential members of Congress to advocate for support of CTE programs, including Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, House co-sponsor the CTE bill. In February, SMRP also hosted a Capitol Hill briefing, “Addressing the Nation’s Skills Gap through Prioritizing Access to Industry Experts,” to discuss the challenges and strategies for addressing the shortage of industry experts, including how employers can become involved.
In June, SMRP signed onto a coalition letter along with 400 businesses and educational communities to advocate for the Senate to take swift, bipartisan action to reauthorize the Senate’s Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act.
“SMRP is dedicated to fostering the next generation of practitioners and professionals through CTE, and we are encouraged by the passing of today’s Strengthening CTE for 21st Century Act as an official step towards closing the skills gap,” added Erickson.
The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) is a nonprofit professional society formed by practitioners to advance the maintenance, reliability and physical asset management profession. SMRP’s membership consists of more than 6,000 individuals, practitioners, companies and students around the world. SMRP is committed to sustaining best practices and developing leaders in the profession by offering education resources, world-class certifications and knowledge-sharing opportunities for members. For more information, visit www.smrp.org.