Skip to content

Congressional Testimony on Preparing Students for Success in the Skills-Based Economy

Washington, DC

Congressional Testimony on Preparing Students for Success in the Skills-Based Economy

Thursday, January 18, 2024, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Executive Director Danny Corwin testified at a congressional hearing hosted by the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, a subcommittee within the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The hearing was titled “Preparing Students for Success in the Skills-Based Economy.” Danny gave an opening statement and then answered questions from the subcommittee’s members. He emphasized the critical importance of high school trades education to our nation’s students and economy:

“We know that high school skilled trades education – broadly course work focused in the construction, transportation. electrification and manufacturing sectors – is critical to our nation’s future. Our economic vitality rests on our ability to create a skilled workforce of highly-trained professionals to design, build, and repair the very fabric of American life, from the roads we drive on, to the homes we live in, to the electrical grid and energy sources that power it all.”

Danny Corwin, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools®

News Coverage:

Washington D.C.

Hearing Recap: CTE Edition, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Jan 18, 2024

“Closing the discussion, Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) posed a practical question regarding not just cultural and legislative barriers to CTE, but political barriers. He asked, “What has it taken to sort of awaken the political will to make the investments and take the steps that are necessary to not just have a successful program here and there—to make it fundamentally part of the offerings available to all students?” Mr. Corwin replied, “Where we have seen the greatest success and students and schools flourish around CTE has been where there has been the collaboration and the partnership between K-12 and industry and workforce development.” There it is again. Collaboration with job creators is the be-all and end-all of unleashing skills-based education.

Bottom Line: Now is the time to unlock career and technical education to fill in-demand jobs across the modern economy.”


Washington D.C.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Holds Hearing on CTE in K-12 Education, CTE Policy Watch, Jan 18, 2024

“This morning, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing entitled “Preparing Students for Success in the Skills-Based Economy.” The witnesses included Danny Corwin, the Executive Director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools; Kelly Mosley, Career and Technical Education Supervisor for Clay County District Schools; Richard Kincaid, Senior Executive Director of College and Career Pathways at the Maryland Department of Education; and Brandon Mabile, Strategic Development Manager at Performance Contractors, Inc.

Most notably, Ranking Member Bonamici raised the issue of Perkins V funding, noting the decline in Perkins funding over the last four decades and questioning Richard Kincaid on how additional Perkins funding could be applied. Kincaid explained that, “Using Perkins as a lever to reinvest additional funding into these programs would be a game changer for places, like Maryland, that rely not only on federal funds to move this agenda forward, but also to ensure that we are well aligned with business and industry.” This notion of funding was referenced many times throughout the hearing, with several witnesses agreeing that financial obstacles are the most difficult to overcome in CTE. Kelly Mosely also emphasized that many incredible CTE programs are made possible by Perkins funding, but that to improve those programs and create new ones, additional funding is necessary.”