February is CTE Month® , when the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) recognizes the dedicated teachers, administrators, students and companies working to make Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs a valuable vocational pathway. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow,” underlining the importance to everyone from education PR pro’s to educators of readying today’s students to join the workforce of tomorrow.
Our education PR team explored a few topics in our CareerTech VISION blog post that we anticipate will be major areas of interest in 2017, such as industry-backed certifications, funding, standards, technology and jobs of the future. Surveys reveal that students enrolled in CTE programs are more likely to land a job after graduation. Currently, CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students, and 8.4 million individuals seeking post-secondary training in CTE fields – numbers that highlight the progress already made towards building a skilled future workforce.
CTE programs and training materials fill a growing need in education programs to train students for promising field like healthcare, manufacturing and trade. As workforce needs and technologies evolve, CTE will continue to be a cornerstone in education programs, helping to train the next generation of workers. Our friends at CEV Multimedia created an infographic to illustrate the increasing need for comprehensive training opportunities in the industries most projected to grow in the next decade. For example:
- The top 10 hardest-to-fill jobs include skilled trade positions, while healthcare occupations make up 12 of the 20 fastest growing occupations
- There are one million jobs open in trade, transportation and public utilities sectors, along with 315,000 jobs in manufacturing
- Middle-skill jobs that require education and training beyond school, but less than a bachelor’s degree constitute a significant part of the economy and workforce
CTE is growing as a valuable pathway to career and postsecondary education success for students. By investing in programs, curriculum materials and tools, we ensure students have what they need to succeed as a skilled worker. When we strengthen career opportunities for students, we see the positive role CTE plays in strengthening economic viability at the local, state and national level.
CTE Month gives vendors, education PR pro’s, educators, students and administrators the opportunity to inform others how CTE has impacted their lives and community. It’s a call to action to open up a dialogue with all levels of government, an opportunity to raise awareness of how crucial CTE programs are for the future of our education systems, workforce and national economy.
If you’re interested in getting involved with CTE Month, ACTE provides useful resources to help raise awareness. Here are a few ideas:
- Hold a school visit to support a strong program at a local institution
- Communicate the importance and benefits of CTE with the media or through social media
- Engage with your legislators and policy makers at the local, state and federal levels through an education PR campaign
- Work with local business leaders to highlight the value CTE and assist them in showcasing their programs (internships, certifications, etc.) to students in the local school district