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National Photonics Initiative Promotes CTE Reauthorization amid Workforce Development Week

The NPI thanks administration for efforts to close US skills gap by expanding technical training opportunities
WASHINGTON, DC – June 15, 2017 – The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics, today released the following statement from the NPI’s Steering Committee Chair Alan Willner in support of the administration’s “Workforce Development Week”:
"The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) thanks the administration for taking a closer look at apprenticeships and job retraining programs that can help to bridge the American ‘skills gap.’ Increased opportunities for hands-on apprenticeships with community colleges and technical schools create a stronger workforce pipeline that keeps both well-trained talent and critical technology in the United States. Optics and photonics – the science and application of light – play a key role in maintaining America’s economic competitiveness, preserving our national security and keeping Americans healthy. However, our nation’s ability to achieve the full potential of optics and photonics technologies depends on increasing the number of skilled technicians needed for advanced manufacturing jobs today and tomorrow.
Concerted private and federal investment to fuel partnerships in optics and photonics for needed technician education opportunities will help to create a nationwide employment pipeline and bring community college students and veterans together with US industry. The NPI thanks the administration for shinning a spotlight on US workforce development this week, and urges congressional leaders to include optics and photonics technical training opportunities between community colleges and US industry in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act.”

About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit