A bill reducing statutory disincentives for high schools to promote manufacturing and other technical trade credential programs is headed to the state Senate after gaining approval from a key legislative committee.
The legislature's Commerce Committee approved SB 854 unanimously March 14.
The bill promotes manufacturing careers to public school students and creates a task force to study the demand for career and technical education teachers.
The measure allows guidance counselors to provide materials on manufacturing, military, and law enforcement careers when discussing career options with students.
It encourages school districts to include in their statement of goals career placement objectives for students who do not pursue a college degree immediately after high school.
And it evaluates high schools on the rate of placement of graduates into full-time manufacturing positions as well as rates of enrollment and successful completion of manufacturing-related certificate programs.
CBIA's Eric Brown testified in favor of SB 854 on behalf of the Connecticut Manufacturers' Collaborative.
"One of the most daunting challenges to ensuring Connecticut will remain a vibrant home to manufacturing is attracting more young people to manufacturing as a career," Brown said.
"There are many reasons for this, but part of the problem is there are statutes that create disincentives for high school teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to encourage manufacturing as a career choice."
Brown was among more than a dozen people who spoke in favor of the bill, including several manufacturers and state Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell.
"The Department of Education fully supports increased access to career and technical education within our schools, as well as the promotion of careers in manufacturing," Wentzell said.