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May 15, 2013   Email to Friend 

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406
May 15, 2013

Alabama high school students enrolled in career tech programs would benefit from new equipment purchased if HB102 passes the Senate on May 20, the final day of the 2013 legislative session.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., - State senators have one day to vote on a bill improving equipment used in Alabama high school career tech and agriscience programs. HB102, known as the 21st Century Workforce Act, is sponsored by Rep. Mac Buttram, R-Cullman, and has been awaiting a final Senate vote since March 7.

While the bill has been on the Senate's agenda numerous times, extended debate on other legislation forced the Senate to adjourn before voting on HB102. The bill includes $30 million to update equipment in established programs and $20 million for equipment in new career tech programs.

"High school students enrolled in career technical programs, including agriscience classes, deserve the best equipment the state can provide," said Alabama Farmers Federation Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg, who serves on the governor's College and Career Ready Task Force. "Students entering the workforce often discover they're not completely prepared because the equipment they learned on in high school is older than the workplace's equipment. Passage of this bill would benefit Alabama high school students, industries and businesses. Career-ready graduates are crucial to our state's economic development."

Alabama State Board of Education (ALSDE) Career Tech Director Dr. Phillip Cleveland said strong career tech programs help businesses save money on training employees and provide a skilled workforce for Alabama industries.

"It's no longer acceptable for us to continue doing what we've always done," Cleveland said. "We have to be very strategic in looking at industry needs and making sure the skills training we provide is in line with those needs. If not, we're doing students a huge disservice."

With one legislative day remaining, AFF members are encouraged to ask their senators to pass HB102 this session. To send an email or letter, visit the AFF Legislative Action Center. Members may also use the AFF social media links to contact state senators through Facebook and Twitter.

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