Posted by: Tom Ross | March 7, 2013

The States of CTE

February 2013 was CTE Month. Many states—Utah, for example—took advantage of the month to celebrate CTE statewide.  (National ‘Groundhog’ Job Shadow Day is also in February, typically on or near Punxsutawney’s favorite holiday.)


CTE was also spotlighted as a priority in President Obama’s State of the Union address.


In the State of the Union, President Obama spoke of greater career preparation and skills training for high school students, with an emphasis on integrating secondary and postsecondary education. “Let’s make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job” said Obama. “Join me in a national commitment to train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers -– places that teach people skills that businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing.”

The President cited the example a public CTE high school in Brooklyn—Pathways in Technology Early College High School—that has developed a partnership between New York Public Schools, City University of New York, and IBM.  The school has a six-year program that offers an associate degree for students interested in a career in technology. “I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.  We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math—the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future,” said Obama.

In their State of the State addresses in the last few months, many state governors also spoke of CTE and, in particular, the skills gap. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has posted the following excerpts. To see the full texts–and in some cases a video–of each speech, click on the links below.

Indiana – Governor Mike Pence

“Career and technical education can provide our students with a pathway to success. It can launch entrepreneurs, give kids a reason to finish high school, and create a well-qualified workforce that will encourage business to build here and grow here. We have to give our kids, our future, every opportunity for success. That means quality schools, choices about their education and multiple pathways to success.”

Rhode Island – Governor Lincoln Chafee

“Rhode Islanders looking for work need to be ready not only for today’s economy, but for the economy of tomorrow. And Rhode Island employers looking to hire or expand need to have confidence that there will be qualified candidates to fill available positions.”

Wyoming – Governor Matthew Mead

“We recognize in Wyoming the importance of higher education whether it is a four-year or two-year degree. And we also recognize the value of career and technical education.”

Texas – Governor Rick Perry

“Texas employers need additional, qualified workers. Of course, not all of these jobs require a college degree. Many require a technical certification, and those jobs are among those most in demand in our state.”

New York – Governor Andrew Cuomo

“A generic job training program just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need a job linkage program.”

Vermont – Governor Peter Shumlinc

“Our current funding system does not encourage [CTE] centers to match the needs of regional employers. These [CTE] Innovation Zones will focus on areas of education and professional opportunity that fit the needs of their region.”

For a short summary of each Governor’s plan for CTE, check out the NASDCTEc posts and updates.

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