Washington Updates July 2019

Career and Technical Education

The National Center for Education Statistics defined Career and Technical programs (CTE) as “a sequence of courses at the high school level that provides students with the academic and technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions.”

In the Spring of 2017, the center conducted a survey on the execution of CTE programs. 1,800 school districts across the country were asked how the CTE programs were structured, as well as the challenges they face, level of employer involvement, and the criteria for which programming decisions are made.

To request a copy of the report, contact service@miipublications.com


Plano, Durham Lead Metro-Level Analysis of Senior Workforce

On July 8, Provision Living released an analysis of the senior workforce and growth within metropolitan areas across the country. Plano, Texas, occupies the top of the list with 25.4 percent of its senior population ages 65 or older remaining in the workforce. The metros with the next highest rates of labor force participation among seniors were Washington, D.C. and Anchorage, Alaska.

Analysts also documented senior workforce population growth from 2009 through 2017. Durham, N.C., leads the nation with a senior workforce growth of 109 percent. The next highest senior workforce growth rates were found in Plano and Austin, TX.

For more information, visit



2020 Election: Skills Training Support

According to the National Skills Coalition it is likely that there will be overwhelming support for skills training and government training in the 2020 elections. ALG Research conducted a research poll under the NSC in January.

These polling results found that ninety three percent of respondents said that they would support investments in skills training.

Read more about the poll here.


White House – Hill Leaders Agree on Two-Year Budget Deal

President Trump announced a two-year budget agreement is in place – the compromise would increase fiscal 2020 spending limits on non-defense programs by about 4% over current levels to $621.5 billion. In addition, it would provide an extra $2.5 billion to account for a census funding adjustment. Another $8 billion in non-defense spending would continue for the Overseas Contingency Operations account in both fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021.

For fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1, 2020, non-defense spending limits would be raised to $626.5 billion. The agreement also contains a two-year extension of the debt limit.

Assuming the agreement stays in place, a vote will take place before Members depart for the August recess.

For more information, click here.


Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia as Secretary of Labor

President Trump took to Twitter to announce is intention to nominate Eugene Scalia as secretary of labor, following the resignation Alexander Acosta. Here is what you should know about Scalia.

Scalia is now a partner in the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher with specialization in employment law and administrative and regulatory law. His past federal government service includes working as a former solicitor for the Department of Labor and as a speechwriter for Education Secretary Benentt.



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Congrats to SERJobs – Houston for Being Awarded $1.5M For Reentry Projects

Congrats to SERJobs – Houston for Being Awarded $1.5M For Reentry Projects


– In its latest effort to ensure that individuals returning to the labor force from the justice system have the opportunity to gain meaningful employment, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced approximately $85.9 million in Reentry Project grants awarded to 45 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The Reentry Projects will serve either young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who have been involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system – including those who did not complete high school – or adults ages 25 and older who were previously involved in the adult criminal justice system.

Administered by the Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Reentry Project grants protect community safety by ensuring that successful participants enter employment and/or education; become productive, responsible, and law-abiding members of society; maintain long-term employment; and sustain a stable residence. President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address called for an ongoing commitment to reform efforts that prevent crime, facilitate successful reentry, and reduce recidivism.

The Department awarded these grants to a combination of rural and urban projects located in high-crime, high-poverty communities. Awardees offer a range of services based on current evidence and proven research, as well as promising emerging practices.

See the full list of  organizations that received the grant awards HERE

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AT&T Aspire has awarded $125,000 to SER Education Programs

AT&T Aspire has awarded $125,000 to SER Education Programs

SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. is proud to announce that AT&T Aspire has awarded $125,000 to SER education programs. The purpose of their decision is to support SER Jobs for Progress National’s Propel Robotics program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which serves 150 opportunity youth, with an emphasis on female students and underrepresented minorities, to explore and pursue STEM fields of interest. We want to thank AT&T Aspire for their generous contribution and look forward to further empower students to reach their highest potential.

Read the full letter from AT&T Aspire below:

Congratulations!  We are very much looking forward to working with you and your team on our shared goal to empower students everywhere to reach their highest potential.

Through AT&T Aspire, we are investing in students today – at home, in the classroom, at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow.  We see tremendous value in your education program and are pleased to award a contribution in the amount of $125,000.00 for SER Jobs for Progress National Inc

The purpose of the contribution is:

To support SER Jobs for Progress National’s Propel Robotics program in five locations (three existing and two new locations) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area serving 150 opportunity youth, with an emphasis on female students and underrepresented minorities, to explore and pursue STEM fields of interest as they discover exciting career opportunities

We are excited to share this good news about funding your program and we want to hear about the positive impact your program is having on students.  You can share your results in the survey you will receive from us on or around July 2020.  We will send an email reminder approximately six weeks before your feedback is due with instructions on submitting the survey.

Please accept our best wishes for much success.


Nicole Anderson
AVP – Social Innovation

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Standing Ovation For Award-Winning Special Needs Robotics Team

Standing Ovation For Award-Winning Special Needs Robotics Team

From Javier Giribet-Vargas

A team of 23 high school students with special needs earned a standing ovation for winning a sportsmanship award during a district robotics competition.

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees led the applause for Sunset High School’s RoboFlash team, which earned the Gracious Professionalism Award during a robotics competition in March.

“I think teams are seeing that our team is one to be reckoned with,” said Pauline Tatum, special education teacher at Sunset High School and the RoboFlash coach.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a national nonprofit that works to spark the youth’s interest in engineering through robotics competitions and other hands-on activities.

For the first time in history, a standalone team of students with special needs won the Gracious Professionalism Award, Tatum said. This prize rewards those who “compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process,” according to FIRST’s website.

The RoboFlash teammates are part of an after-school robotics club where all students have special needs. Gabriel Reyes, a 14-year-old incoming sophomore who falls along the autism spectrum, joined the club at the beginning of his freshman year.

His family wasn’t convinced about letting him join the club at first, said Cristal Gonzalez, his older sister. Gabriel was shy and struggled to socialize, and his mom and sister feared that he’d be pushed too far too fast.

“In middle school, he never participated in anything like that. But after joining, I actually saw him coming home and talking to us about the stuff that they did after school,” Gonzalez said. “It got him out of his shell, made him express himself more and boosted his morale. It’s something that we’d never seen in him.”

Tatum, Reyes and senior Josh Preciado talked about the team’s latest accomplishment during the June 27 Dallas ISD Board of Trustees meeting.

“When [the team]won the award, Gabriel really felt proud of himself,” Gonzalez said. “He called everybody, our aunt, our uncle and mom, because she was still at work, and told them ‘I won, I won.’ He wanted everybody to know.”

Tatum has been teaching at Sunset High School for almost 20 years. On 2017, RoboFlash debuted at the FIRST Robotics Competition, contesting against the general education population. The participants build their own robot, and earn points depending on how well it can perform specific tasks.

During the tournaments the teams compete against each other in alliances with others. Not only do the students get assistance and guidance from their peers in the general education population, but also get a sense of acceptance. Just this year, RoboFlash improved their score from last year, which lead them to rank as the 150th among all 183 teams across the state.

“We are opening the doors for the kids with special needs to compete alongside the general education cohort,” Tatum said. “They engineer with their minds and build stuff with their hands. It might take them double the time, and sometimes triple the time. It takes them longer, but once they get it, they get it.”

See the full article here: https://thehub.dallasisd.org/2019/07/09/standing-ovation-sportsmanship-award-for-robotics-team-comprised-of-students-with-special-needs/


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Washington, D.C. – SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. affirms its support of the trilateral trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA). The new trade agreement replaces the outdated NAFTA with significant improvements in our trade and investment relationships with Mexico and Canada. On behalf of our members and supporters across the country we urge Congress to ratify USMCA.

Ratification of this agreement is important in strengthening trade and commerce among our regional partners. In addition, USMCA promotes transparency and accountability when developing and implementing regulations, increased labor standards and worker representation, intellectual environmental obligations, and fair market accessibility.

Support for the USMCA agreement is in the best interest of the North American economy. The ratification of USMCA provides tangible economic benefits and important humanitarian efforts that will impact our families, our communities, and our businesses. We strongly urge you to support a bipartisan ratification of USMCA.


SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc.

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