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Mullin' It Over Column

America is Still the Land of Opportunity

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin

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Washington, June 22, 2017 | comments

Since its beginning, America has been known as the land of opportunity.  Millions of immigrants left their own homes to find something in our country not readily available in their own: an opportunity to succeed.  A large part of that success is defined by having a job.  In Oklahoma, just like in all other parts of the country, people want a job that gives them purpose, allows them to provide for their family, and creates a chance for a better life. 

It’s our job in Congress to make sure the federal government doesn’t stand in the way of those opportunities.  Our workforce should continue to reach their full potential by taking advantage of opportunities that benefit their careers.  That’s why this week, the House is taking up legislation to improve the opportunities for Americans in the workforce and help every American reach their full potential. 

As a small business owner who employs individuals with a Career and Technical Education (CTE), I understand firsthand how important CTE is to our communities.  A traditional 4-year university doesn’t work for all people or all skill sets.  We should support and encourage all forms of schooling across the board because all education is career education.  It isn’t limited to the skills learned at a university over four years.

With millions of jobs available across the country, there is always a job opening to be filled.  The tough part is finding someone with the right skill set to fill the position and perform well.  By reauthorizing the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, we’re empowering state and local community leaders by easing requirements that are too restricting and apply a one-size-fits-all approach to CTE students.  It gives states more flexibility when supporting CTE students in rural areas, increases transparency within the programs, encourages public input, and limits federal intervention.

House Republicans are working hard to ensure every American has access to an education that helps them learn the skills that will jumpstart their careers.  So whether it’s the International Paper Mill in Valliant or the Schwan’s Mrs. Smith’s factory in Stilwell, Oklahoma is a prime example of how the American Dream is still alive and well in our country.  With these reforms in place, we can make sure America will continue to be the land of opportunity for this generation and many more. 
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