Perkins V: How can states effectively leverage labor market information?

April 12th, 2019

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) puts an increased emphasis on the use of labor market information (LMI). Perkins V includes an amendment to the Wagner-Peyser (Title III of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) to ensure that labor market information produced under Wagner-Peyser can be readily accessed and used by the states and in turn, local recipients. In addition, the law requires an analysis of how CTE programs are meeting labor market needs as part of the comprehensive local needs assessment that local recipients of Perkins funds must complete. Labor market information is also one component of how states may determine which credentials should count as recognized postsecondary credentials (a term that is defined in Perkins V and used in the accountability system). How can states effectively leverage labor market information when approaching implementation of Perkins V? Check out the resources below to learn more.

GUIDEPutting Labor Market Information in the Right Hands: This guide is designed to help states think through the process of disseminating LMI more strategically. The guide highlights different states approached and their dissemination of LMI to employers, districts and learners, and poses guiding questions for states to consider for each of those audiences.

BRIEFCredentials of Value: State Strategies for Identifying and Endorsing Industry-Recognized Credentials: This paper highlights promising practices from states that have made considerable progress developing a system for students and employers to navigate the tangled universe of credentials. The brief further describes how each state tackles the challenge in a different way, building a system that suits their local economy and context, and highlights a few common strategies.


  • Kansas: Excel in CTE: Excel in CTE was launched in 2012 to help students transition to postsecondary education and training by increasing industry-recognized credential attainment and dual enrollment. The program has grown substantially since then, serving more than 10,000 students a year.
  • Florida: Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE): Florida’s CAPE Act, initially passed in 2007, models how states can engage with industry and define quality industry certification standards for secondary and postsecondary students.
Looking for additional resources? Please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy & Brianna McCain, Policy Associate 

Are you willing to include the campaign to double the investment in your next newsletter?

April 11th, 2019

In February, the CTE community launched a campaign to double the federal investment in CTE! This is a shared campaign and we invite everyone to join us in asking employers to sign onto a statement that supports doubling the investment in CTE. The signatures collected from employers will be a critical component to building visibility and support for CTE with members of Congress. This new bi-monthly newsletter will keep you updated on the campaign and provide you with Tweets and resources to spread the word about the campaign! Are you willing to help us get the word out about the campaign by including it in your next newsletter or e-blast to CTE champions? Do you have email lists that reach employers, state CTE administrators, Career Technical Student Organizations, deans of workforce education or community college presidents? You can use or adapt the sample newsletter and email language in the promotional toolkit in your communications. Our goal is to secure 10,000 employer signatures by April and every signature counts! You can also use the featured resourceblog, and Tweet below to spread the word about the campaign and encourage employers to sign on.

FEATURED RESOURCE: Check out the one-pager on the double the investment campaign. It’s a quick read that you can link to in your newsletter or e-blast to CTE champions or use as a leave-behind at meetings. Find additional resources, including an “I Support CTE” sign, PowerPoint, and CTE graphics on the share page.

JOIN US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Sample Tweet: “73% of Americans say increasing federal spending on K-12 public education is extremely important. #ISupportCTE”  Use #ISupportCTE when you share your support for the campaign!

BLOG OF THE WEEK:Share the blog, Career Technical Education: The Solution to Workforce Needs in your next newsletter or e-blast to CTE champions. Willing to write about why you support doubling the investment in CTE? Email to learn how to submit a blog or testimonial to be featured on

PAYA National Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina

March 25th, 2019

Earlier this month, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeships (PAYA), of which Advance CTE is one of the partners, held a national meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. This convening included educators, employers, policymakers, community leaders and PAYA partners. Over the course of two days, PAYA featured sessions such as: panels on the perspectives from school districts, employers, students and national leaders; a keynote presentation from Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA and Chair of the Siemens Foundation; a discussion with Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama and a tour of the youth apprenticeship labs at Trident Technical College. Advance CTE also led a session, Seeing Connections in PAYA & Perkins, which walked through the major components of Perkins V and how Perkins V and PAYA’s principles align.

The conference began by highlighting the success of youth apprenticeships through personal examples of new opportunities and achievements.  Data demonstrating the impact of youth apprenticeships was also shared, for example for $1 the government puts into apprenticeships, there is a $23 return on investment.

A favorite part of the conference for attendees was the panel of five youth apprentices:

  • Joshua Carpenter, First Year Youth Apprentice, Boeing;  
  • Constance Johnson, First Year Youth Apprentice, Trident Medical Center;  
  • Jordan Fancy, Second Year Youth Apprentice, Cummins Turbo Technologies;  
  • Byrone Porcher, Line Chef and Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships Alumnus, Wild Dunes Resort; and
  • Stephanie Walters, Adult Apprentice and Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships, Robert Bosch LLC.

The impressive group spoke about what led them to their apprenticeships, what they are getting out of their programs and their plans for continuing education and employment. Most were prompted to explore apprenticeships by parents, school counselors or teachers who believed in the potential of these programs. All on the panel shared that it was difficult to make the decision to enroll in a youth apprenticeship program instead of the traditional educational path that their peers were on, and that they themselves had always planned on doing. However, there was unanimous agreement that the program is well worth it,  and that the ability to follow their passions by combining work and academic skills has been incredibly positive. To learn more about how youth apprenticeships work for students, check out this infographic from PAYA.

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the meeting location’s, Trident Technical College, culinary, nursing and industrial mechanics lab spaces where youth apprentices’ technical coursework is held. Each space was designed to provide students with the best and most realistic learning experience. For example, the nursing lab space includes replicas of hospital rooms, so that students can gain hands-on experiences in a setting that mirrors the workplace.The lab experience  includes high fidelity mannequins that can mock different scenarios that a participant can expect to encounter in a patient. The mannequins are able to make noise, change color and even produce fluids. Students are able to apply the knowledge and skills they learn on the mannequins, setting them up for success in the workplace.

For more information on the intersection of Career Technical Education (CTE) and youth apprenticeships read Advance CTE’s blog, Incorporating Youth Apprenticeships in CTE Pathways. To learn about best practices, as well as common challenges  linking CTE and apprenticeships, check out a report from Advance CTE in partnership with JFF, Vivayic and RTI International, Opportunities for Connecting Secondary CTE Students and Apprenticeships. This report was developed through a contract with the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, at the U.S. Department of Education.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Level Up Coalition Calls on States and Communities to Develop Postsecondary Transitions Strategies

March 14th, 2019

There is an economic imperative to ensure that each learner has access to and completes postsecondary education or training. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require some form of postsecondary education and training beyond high school. However, many learners, particularly first generation learners, low-income and learners of color, face challenges when transitioning from high school to college.

To help ensure systems support learners during this key time of transition, Level Up launched on March 8. Level Up, managed and run by Education Strategy Group (ESG), is a coalition of state and national partners, including Advance CTE, whose aim is to significantly increase the numbers of high school students prepared for and successfully transitioning to postsecondary education and training programs. The launch event for Level Up featured two panels that provided insight into the barriers that learners face when transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and training and highlighted state strategies to address these barriers.

The first panel, Removing Barriers, Transforming Lives, featured students who participated in the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program, a collaborative between Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove. ACES provides services to students to support their transition to and completion of postsecondary education. The students remarked on how financial aid, mental health, responsibilities outside of school and a lack of information and academic planning were barriers to students’ successful transitions to postsecondary education. ACES helped students address these barriers through providing coaches that connected students to resources and helped them develop academic and transfer plans.

The second panel, Closing Gaps through Alignment and Collaboration, featured K-12 and higher education leaders who discussed how states and communities can work together to create seamless postsecondary transitions for each learner. For instance, Baltimore City Schools engaged in equity mapping to ensure its coursework is aligned across the education system to support learners’ attainment of postsecondary credentials.

At the launch event, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Education Commission of the States (ECS), ESG and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) released Taking Alignment to the Next Effort: How K-12 and Higher Education Can Collaborate to Support Student Success, which highlights steps that K-12 and higher education leaders can take to help learners successfully transition to postsecondary education and training. The report argues that there are three key pillars to a successful postsecondary transition strategy:

  • Aligning expectations;
  • Facilitating seamless transitions; and
  • Extend navigational supports.

As state leaders work to build pathways that support learners in their efforts to achieve their college and career goals, they should develop postsecondary transitions strategies to ensure that each learner is able to access and succeed in postsecondary education.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

March 8th, 2019

Happy International Women’s Day



A new coalition called Level Up launched today in Washington, DC. This collaborative of local, state, and national partners is committed to significantly increasing the number of high school learners prepared for and successfully transitioning to postsecondary education and training programs. Level Up will support state and local K-12 and higher education leaders in jointly developing and executing a postsecondary transition strategy to measurably increase the preparation and success of all learners, with an explicit focus on students of color, first generation learners, and those from low-income families

Learn more about how they will #LevelUpforStudents at Watch the launch event video here


A high quality program of study should include opportunities for learners to gain real-world skills through hands-on, work-based learning experiences such as internships. In this video, Macie Lynch, takes you with her to see what it’s like to be an intern at Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Want to see some of the most powerful, popular and fun International Women’s Day videos from around the world over the years? Check them out here.


Today a new report, Taking Alignment to the Next Level: How K-12 and Higher Education Can Collaborate to Support Student Success, was released today by the Level Up Coalition; a collaborative of local, state, and national partners committed to significantly increasing the number of high school students prepared for and successfully transitioning to postsecondary education and training programs.

The report seeks to highlight the individuals, groups, schools, or regions across the country that have been successful in increasing the number of high school learners prepared for and successfully transitioning to postsecondary education and career training programs. This brief also provides high impact strategies to develop and scale solutions that can strengthen collaboration and alignment between the workforce, K–12, and higher education communities.

Read the full-report here:

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Perkins V: How can states use this opportunity to communicate about CTE?

March 7th, 2019

As states begin the process of developing their state plans for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), it is critical for communications to be front and center in a state’s overall efforts to create – and eventually implement – its Perkins V state plan. Given the incredible interest in and spotlight on Career Technical Education (CTE) from so many policymakers, industry leaders and families, having a proactive communications strategy that has a clear and compelling message is more important now than ever. Communicating early and often is imperative to helping facilitate the many changes that will be coming as a result of Perkins V. Find tools and resources below to help you communicate with a variety of audiences.

TOOLCommunicating About Perkins V (Word and PDF): This tool aims to help state leaders think through their overall communications strategy throughout the process of developing and implementing a Perkins V state plan.

GUIDEKey Tips for Engaging Policymakers: Straightforward advice on preparing to brief new leaders, with tailored guidance for and questions to expect from new governors, legislators, state board members, and K-12 and postsecondary leaders.

PowerPoint“CTE in Your State” PowerPoint Template and related tips: A basic template and related guidance to help state leaders build their own materials.

More Resources

The next issue of this series will include resources on the comprehensive local needs assessment and in the meantime, please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy & Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager 

Governors Celebrate CTE in 2019 State of the State Addresses

March 4th, 2019

Numerous governors have celebrated or prioritized Career Technical Education (CTE) during their annual State of the State Addresses to their state legislatures this year. When outlining their policy agendas for 2019, many governors highlighted successes related to CTE and committed to fostering CTE in their respective states.

Governors prioritized expanding access to CTE for learners. In New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu announced an $8.6 million allocation to remove barriers, such as tuition and transportation, to CTE participation. In Idaho, Governor Brad Little mentioned that he will focus on expanding CTE opportunities for learners. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Barker celebrated adding 4,000 seats to the state’s vocational and technical schools. In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo noted that the state increased the number of CTE programs offered in high schools by 60 percent. Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have prioritized increasing high-quality career pathways under the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative.

During the addresses, Governors also emphasized CTE funding in their states. In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan celebrated voters’ approval of the “casino lockbox initiative,” which will provide $4.4 million in additional funding for innovative CTE programming and other educational initiatives. In North Dakota, Governor Doug Burgum dedicated $40 million in Legacy Fund earnings for career academies.

Numerous governors also celebrated work-based learning, particularly the expansion of apprenticeships. In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock highlighted that seven out of 10 two-year colleges in the state offer apprenticeship coursework. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy celebrated the creation of more than 100 new apprenticeship programs that hired more than 2,000 new apprentices. In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf noted that the state increased the number of apprenticeship programs to roughly 800.

In total, more than 20 governors have celebrated or prioritized advancing CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. This is Advance CTE’s second blog post on the State of the State Addresses- to view the first blog post click here. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

CTE Month is Recognized and Congress Speaks on HEA and ESSA

March 1st, 2019

With Career Technical Education (CTE) month having come to a close, this update includes how CTE month was recognized, next steps for Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization, questions about supplement not supplant under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the first education bill of the 116th Congress, renewal of Second Chance Pell and the new American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.

Senate Passes CTE Month Resolution

The Senate passed a resolution to officially recognize February as CTE month. Introduced by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and the Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs, S. Res. 79 was co-sponsored by 50 senators across both parties. A resolution, H. Res. 119, was also introduced in the House by House CTE Caucus co-chair Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), and co-sponsored by 46 representatives across both parties.

Secretary DeVos Joins CTE Month School Visit

In recognition of CTE month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for a site visit to the Academies of Loudoun  in Leesburg, Virginia. During the visit, Secretary DeVos learned more about the school’s innovative CTE programs and toured the radiology technology lab, auto service technology lab, auto collision repair lab, makerspace, engineering research lab and greenhouse. Secretary DeVos also participated in a roundtable conversation along with Academies of Loudon’s Principal Tinell Priddy, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ashley Ellis, ACTE’s Steve DeWitt and Advance CTE’s Kimberly Green.

Senator Murray’s Vision for Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

On Thursday, February 28, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke about HEA reauthorization at the Center for American Progress. Senator Murray outlined the four following priorities: 1) Improving college affordability; 2) Holding schools accountable; 3) Expanding access to higher education and 3) Increasing campus safety and protecting students’ civil rights. Senator Murray voiced that reauthorization is an opportunity for comprehensive higher education reform, and has been in negotiations with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Committee on Education & Labor Announces Five Hearings on Higher Education

Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced five upcoming bipartisan hearings on higher education. The hearings will cover: 1) The Cost of College: Student Centered Reforms to Bring Higher Education Within Reach; 2) Strengthening Accountability in Higher Education to Better Serve Students and Taxpayers; 3) The Cost of Non-Completion: Improving Student Outcomes in Higher Education; 4) Engines of Economic Mobility: The Critical Role of Community Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions in Preparing Students for Success and 5) Innovation to Improve Equity: Exploring High-Quality Pathways to a College Degree. No dates for the hearings have been announced yet.

Democratic Congressional Leaders Respond to Education Department’s Proposed ESSA Title I Guidelines

Representative Scott and Senator Murray responded to the Education Department’s proposed guidance on the supplement not supplant requirement under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The proposed guidance alters the methodology for accountability around supplement not supplant funding. School districts would need to demonstrate that a school’s Title I status was not considered when designating state and local resources to each school. Representative Scott and Senator Murray called on Secretary DeVos to carry out a negotiated rulemaking process instead of moving forward with this proposal.

House Committee on Education & Labor Votes on Rebuild America’s Schools Act

The first education bill of the year, the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, was cleared to go to the full House of Representatives in a 26-20 vote in the House Committee on Education & Labor. This bill would provide $100 billion in grants and tax-credit bonds for school infrastructure. CTE is incorporated in this bill as an allowable use of funds.

U.S. Department of Education Renews Pilot Pell Grants Program

On February 13 the U.S. Department of Education approved renewal of a pilot program started by the Obama administration that allows incarcerated individuals to access Pell Grants. The program, called Second Chance Pell, is in its fourth year. Through this program, and the 67 participating colleges and universities and over 100 federal and state penal institutions, 12,000 incarcerated learners are able to utilize Pell. The creation of this pilot was the first time that prisoners were able to access Pell since Congress banned this in 1994. Currently, Secretary Betsy DeVos has voiced an interest in lifting this ban. Senator Alexander and Representative Scott have both recently spoken out in support of lifting this ban through reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Administration Creates American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

On February 13 the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump, adviser to President Trump, announced a new American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The new advisory board is comprised of 25 members, including the chief executives of Apple Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Siemens USA and Walmart. The advisory board is separate of the National Council for the American Worker, which was established by Executive Order in June 2018, but the two groups will work together. One example noted was that the advisory board would be “be asked to help the council develop a national campaign to promote education and training, recommend ways to improve labor market data, increase private sector investments in job learning and better identify companies’ needs in hiring.” Advance CTE will continue to provide updates on the work of the council and the advisory board.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

CTE Month: Let’s Invest in Career Technical Education for All Learners

February 28th, 2019


We have reached the end of Career Technical Education (CTE) month and we have seen – through awards programs, student success stories, visits to policymakers and site visits with employers – the importance of supporting high-quality programs of study across the nation. CTE provides middle school, high school, postsecondary and adult learners with the knowledge and skills they need to be prepared for successful careers. Learners enrolled in CTE programs progress along a pathway of increasingly specific academic and technical courses. They often have the opportunity to participate in internships, engage with employers, and apply what they are learning through hands-on projects.

Funding for CTE supports a variety of activities including:
      • Professional development for teachers and faculty to remain up to date on the latest industry advances;
      • Career counseling, guidance and advisement;
      • Career exploration opportunities;
      • Creation of new programs and associated equipment;
      • Improvement and expansion of existing programs; and
      • Building of industry partnerships and more.

That is why the CTE community is leading the charge to double the federal investment in programs that work for America.

How Can Organizations Support the Campaign?

Step 1: Sign On!
Visit to sign your company or organization on to support doubling the investment in CTE.

Step 2: Stay Involved in the Campaign
When you sign on to the statement of support, you can select the ways in which you would like to stay involved in the campaign:
Email your organization’s logo to be displayed on the campaign’s website;
Submit a story about the impact of CTE to be featured in campaign materials; and
Receive email updates and more.

You can also keep up with the campaign on Twitter by following @CTEWorks and using #ISupportCTE when posting about the campaign.  

Step 3: Spread the Word
Share the campaign with your networks — and invite them to visit to sign on.

Visit the Share page on to find sample tweets, a partner guide and more to help you share the campaign.

See how others are supporting the campaign on social media by searching #ISupportCTE. Here are some examples: 


Excellence in Action Spotlighting: Anderson 1 and 2 Career and Technology Center, Automotive Technology

February 27th, 2019

To ensure programs of study are high-quality, they must be comprehensive, rigorous and prepare learners for opportunities in high-skill and in-demand fields. Connections with local employers is also important so that learners participate in meaningful work-based learning experiences. Business leaders provide input on the curriculum and the benefit of participating is building a pipeline of high-wage, in-demand careers in their own community.

For example, the development of the Automotive Technology program of study – a 2018 Excellence in Action Award winner in the Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Career Cluster®, housed at Anderson 1 and 2 Career and Technology Center in Williamston, South Carolina – is the direct result of industry needs in the community.

“We believe in project-based learning, engaging businesses and industries, setting high expectations for all students and creating student-centered classroom environments. We have embraced the integration of academics into Career Technical Education. Our programs work closely with our home high schools and postsecondary institutions around career pathways that give students a head start on high-demand employment opportunities thought stackable credentials,” said Kale Fortenberry, Automotive Technology Instructor.

There are more than 200 major manufacturers and 20 international companies located in Anderson County, including a number of car manufacturers.The high industry demand for skilled workers has led to employers reaching out directly to the program of study to build a pipeline of qualified and skilled employees. For example, the BMW Performance Center continues to serve as a business partner. Product Specialists at BMW bring BMW’s newest vehicles to the school so learners can gain first-hand industry knowledge.

“The quality of this program, its equipment and the instructor set the standard in our area. During our visits, we are continually impressed with the quality of students this program produces. Students show a level of professionalism that indicates their readiness for higher education and the workforce,” said Jonathan Stribble, Product & Delivery Support Specialist, BMW Group.

In their junior and senior years, learners may participate in the cooperative education option. This paid work-based learning experience includes a written training and evaluation plan, developed with industry partners, that guides workplace activities in coordination with classroom instruction. Students receive course credit in addition to financial compensation with the ultimate goal of providing a seamless transition into the workplace or postsecondary education.

Through an articulated agreement with the Tri-County Technical College, beginning their sophomore year, learners can earn up to 15 college credits as well as 10 industry-recognized certifications in electrical and braking systems. In the 2015-16 school year, 99 percent of students earned an industry-recognized credential and 73 percent earned postsecondary credit.

Learn more about the Automotive Technology Program at Anderson 1 and 2 Career and Technology Center and our 2018 award winners.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate