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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania


August 10, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Co-Chairs of the 21st Century Skills (21CS) Caucus, today introduced H.R. 5663, the Four C's for Careers Act.

This bipartisan bill would enhance the ability of academic institutions to provide high quality career and technical education (CTE) opportunities to ensure CTE efforts provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in today’s workforce. The bill is named for the four C’s CTE providers should promote in their curriculum: critical thinking, communications, collaboration, and creativity.

“Equipping our students with effective skills to succeed in the global, competitive workforce is our focus, and that's why this legislation is a top priority for us," said Rep. Ryan Costello, who is also a member of the House STEM and STEAM Caucuses. “This legislation involves the active participation and feedback of the industries that need workers, and we have customized it to help future employees gain the skills necessary to be career-ready. We are very excited about it."

“There is a gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and the skills that businesses need,” said Rep. Dave Loebsack. “I am a strong supporter of finding creative ways to help more Americans graduate and enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete in the modern economy. This bill encourages investment in our students’ futures through blended learning programs, public-private partnerships, data-driven career planning, and an emphasis on critical thinking, communications, collaboration, and creativity. I am proud that my fellow co-chair of the 21st Century Skills Caucus, Rep. Ryan Costello, and I have introduced this bipartisan bill that will make positive changes to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help close the skills gap.”

In addition to enhancing schools’ ability to deliver CTE opportunities and provide valued skills across career sectors, the Four C’s for Careers Act also encourages students to make strategic connections with businesses that are in need of skilled workers with their expertise. Such strategies would include a greater use of experiential learning opportunities to provide students in-depth interaction with industry professionals and encourage the use of public-private partnerships to streamline the process for students to obtain key credentials and certifications.

The 21CS Caucus serves as a bipartisan forum for advancing the discussion on how to effectively promote 21st century skills in our nation's educational system and better prepare our students with the right knowledge and skills to compete in a global economy. The caucus will look to build collaborative partnerships among education, business, community, and government leaders to achieve this goal. To date, twenty states have formed a coalition with over thirty leading companies and education organizations to find ways to strengthen 21st century skills in K-12 classrooms.

To read more about the 21CS Caucus, please click here.