July 25, 2019 by Remie Verougstraete
This month, the reauthorized and updated version of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act went into effect. Commonly referred to as Perkins V, the latest version of the law maintains the core tenets of the original legislation while also incorporating several notable changes.
Perhaps the most significant change is the addition of a comprehensive local needs assessment in section 134(c). This assessment, which must be updated at least every two years, is meant to facilitate alignment between CTE programs and labor market needs, ensuring that students are trained for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand jobs.
While the vision outlined by this amendment is exciting, it also presents a challenge. After all, assessing the economic conditions of your region is no small feat, let alone tying that insight back to your institution’s programs. It involves not only demonstrating the effectiveness of existing programs that meet the needs of the labor market, but also identifying skill gaps and strategic opportunities for future growth.
Perkins V may make the need for this data more pressing, but it’s not new. In fact, this is exactly the kind of information that Emsi has been providing to colleges and universities for almost 20 years.