Dec 2 -- The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is requesting information on successful approaches for expanding work-based learning (WBL) opportunities for youth by working across Federal, State, and local education and employer systems. We will use this information to inform our implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Comments are due by January 13, 2021.
FR notice https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/02/2020-26483/request-for-information-on-expanding-work-based-learning-opportunities-for-youth
The Department awards approximately $1.3 billion annually for Career and Technical Education (CTE) State formula grants authorized under Perkins V. Perkins V assists States and outlying areas in expanding and improving CTE in secondary schools, technical schools, and community colleges. Each State uses program funds to support a variety of CTE programs and activities developed in accordance with its State plan. The enactment of Perkins V in 2018 highlighted the provision of WBL as an important strategy for preparing CTE students for further learning and careers.
The greater prominence of WBL in Perkins V and interest in expanding its availability comes at a time when participation in the labor market by youth is at a low point. Since 2000, there has been a precipitous drop in participation in the job market by adolescents ages 16 to 19 of all major races and ethnicities.
With the heightened interest in expanding WBL for CTE students occurring at the same time that participation in work by youth is waning, the Department is soliciting ideas and information from a broad array of stakeholders on strategies and approaches to expand WBL opportunities for primarily high school students ages 16 or 17. These opportunities may include, but are not limited to, paid internships, work study, cooperative education, apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. Input on stabilizing and increasing WBL will also be critical to mitigate the potential short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on youth employment.
We are interested in learning about successful approaches to expanding WBL opportunities for youth from States, Tribes, State and local educational agencies, community-based and other nonprofit organizations, employers, industry associations, philanthropic organizations, faith-based organizations, researchers, and other interested individuals and entities. The public input provided in response to this notice will inform the deliberations of the Department on the implementation of Perkins V and the Department's consultation and coordination on activities related to federally supported youth employment initiatives with its partners in the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Pub. L. 113-128), including the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.
The RFI poses 30 questions across multiple categories, including Successful Practices and Strategies; Public and Private Partnerships; Outcomes, Data, and Evaluation Design; Student Barriers; and Employer Barriers.