We Need Career and Technical Education for the Next Generation of Workers
By: Bryan Hall
June 26, 2019

This piece was written by Bryan Hall, Engineer, Komatsu.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) while on the job at Komatsu. She was in Peoria for an I Make America event, where she toured the factory and then spoke to a group of employees. As part of her tour, I was able to bring her up into the cab of one of the vehicles on the line and show her my role in manufacturing mining equipment.
Afterwards, she hopped up on a platform and took questions from a group of over 60 Komatsu employees on a range of local and federal issues, including career and technical education. That topic definitely made my ears perk up.
I’ve been at Komatsu for 13 years now, and career and technical education is how I got my start here. She talked about how important that kind of education is, and I couldn’t agree more. I think Congress needs to do more to support career and technical training.
We need to show teens and young adults that you don’t necessarily need a four-year college degree to accomplish your goals. Depending on what your career path is, an associate’s degree, community colleges, and on-the-job training can prove to be just as, if not more, valuable to the next generation of workers.