AFS-supported workforce legislation signed by President Trump

Key workforce legislation supported by AFS went into law July 31, when President Trump signed an act overhauling the nation’s career and technical education law.

The bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) reforms, modernizes, and increases funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act. The act, which hadn’t been updated in more than a decade, is the primary source of federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation.

AFS made enactment of H.R. 2353 a legislative priority for this Congress. 

“Congress took an important step in updating and creating the kind of programs needed to recruit and prepare students for careers in metalcasting and other manufacturing industries,” said AFS CEO Doug Kurkul. More than 80 percent of metalcasters report a talent shortage in the industry–from production, maintenance, and technician positions, to machinists, electricians, patternmakers, and foundry engineers.

The law will align CTE programs to the needs of regional, state and local labor markets, support improved collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers, increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities, and promote the use of industry-recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials, including those used by AFS and the metalcasting industry. 

AFS members advocated in favor of the legislation over the past two years, including during the industry’s May Government Affairs Fly-In, and testified on the workforce shortage at a House of Representatives Small Business Committee meeting in June.  AFS thanks the bill’s sponsors for their leadership on this important issue.

View the AFS Advocacy video here.

The American Foundry Society is a dynamic technical and advocacy organization that serves and represents the $33 billion metalcasting industry. AFS is the only association serving the entire industry, including all metals and processes, with a three-part focus on advocacy, education, and innovation. AFS also publishes Modern Casting and Metal Casting Design & Purchasing magazines and presents Metalcasting Congress and CastExpo, the largest metalcasting trade events in North America. Founded in 1896, the organization is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, with an advocacy office in Washington, D.C. More information is available at