Sens. Marshall, Coons Introduce the Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act

(Washington, D.C., September 19, 2022) – Today U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act, bipartisan legislation that helps small businesses hire new employees and supports aspiring entrepreneurs. Specifically, the bill directs Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Women Business Centers (WBCs) to assist small businesses in hiring career and technical education (CTE) program graduates. The bill also gives CTE graduates access to SBDC and WBC resources that are useful for starting a small business

“I managed Great Bend Regional Hospital for many years. I understand how challenging it is to have enough employees on your team to keep up with demand. We often hear how our big cities and small towns alike struggle with access to essential trade services, and part of the problem is there aren’t enough people with the skills to provide those services.” said Senator Marshall. “Senator Coons and I are offering a bipartisan solution with this bill that helps CTE graduates get jobs with small businesses in areas where their trade skills are needed and, if a community does not have a business that offers a certain trade, our bill assists CTE graduates with starting their own.”

“Delaware small businesses, whether they’re in health care, construction, or engineering, are hungry to hire workers with specialized skills. The Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act will help bridge the gap between these businesses and the students at career and technical education institutes who are training to fill those good-paying jobs get the opportunities they deserve,” said Senator Coons. “I’m proud to work with my colleague from across the aisle to ensure Delawareans and workers across the nation can make the most of their careers.”

The bipartisan Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act introduced by Senators Marshall and Coons is the Senate companion to legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25).

“I am proud to see Senator Coons and Senator Marshall introduce the Senate Companion to the Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act,” said Congressman Williams. “Skilled workers make extraordinary contributions to the economy and provide critical services that Americans depend on every day. This bill will encourage more young people to pursue valuable CTE professions and assist graduates in translating their skills into their own small businesses one day. I look forward to working with the two Senators to get this bill to the President’s desk to become law.”

You may click HERE to read the full text of the Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act.


Shortages in skilled trade labor is causing an employment gap in several industries. For example, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates there were 393,000 unfilled positions in construction in July 2022. This is a 7.9% increase compared to July 2021. These unfilled jobs include electricians, carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Adding to the problem, 41% of the workforce in this industry is expected to retire by 2031 according to the Associated General Contractors of America .

Labor shortages in these fields are persistent across the United States, and cause delays in the completion of projects on large commercial buildings, small business improvements, and residential projects.