This Week in CTE

December 4th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

SCHOLARSHIP OF THE WEEK 

A new scholarship opportunity for learners seeking college funding, a mentorship and have an interest in transportation has been announced. The purpose of The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)’s Diversity Scholars Program is to grow underrepresented populations’ participation in the transportation profession by supporting increased diversity at the undergraduate level. Diversity in the transportation industry is critical as practitioners seek to fully understand the transportation needs of communities and develop equitable mobility improvements to many areas of our society. 

This program is open to any U.S. high school student of Black; Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian; or Latinx heritage with an interest in a career in transportation and who is seeking to study transportation engineering, planning, or in a related-field at a school with an established ITE Student Chapter. 

For more information and to apply, click here. Applications are due March 15, 2021.

CTE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK

One Nevada school has been responsive to industry changes in their area and adopted a new manufacturing program tying in curriculum from Project Lead the Way and Intelitek. Palo Verde High School will have a four-year program teaching learner 3D modeling, applied physics, computer-integrated manufacturing and engineering design. 

Stephen Turbie, Engineering Instructor, says, “Automation is an essential part of any manufacturing business. Learning about automation and manufacturing provides good training for many future technical careers.”

Learn more about the addition of this manufacturing program in this article published by SmartBrief. 

CTSO OF THE WEEK

Despite the challenges states have faced with offering work-based learning opportunities during the pandemic, students from King City High School’s (King City, California) agricultural pathway and members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) have worked diligently to utilize social media to overcome barriers and continue to have their work-based learning opportunities, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), externships and virtual career fairs for the current school year.

Learn more in this article on how CTE teachers and students in California are working together despite the virtual learning challenges. King City High School FFA students are also ranked number one in the region and third in the state of California.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Following the retirement of House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was voted to be the new committee chair. DeLauro’s win came after her endorsement by the Democratic House Steering and Policy Committee earlier this week. Currently, DeLauro serves as the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee so she is well versed in Career Technical Education (CTE), education and workforce funding.

View more Legislative Updates from this week here

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Recent calculations suggested that 32-42 percent of job losses that have resulted from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) may be permanent. CTE can reskill and upskill learners and prepare them for reentry into the workforce by offering industry-recognized credentials of value. 

Credential Currency: How States Can Identify and Promote Credentials of Value is a roadmap for how states can identify which credentials have labor market value, and recommended strategies and opportunities to advance learner attainment. This roadmap is informed by national, state and local CTE leaders from K-12 education, postsecondary education and industry. 

View Credential Currency: How States Can Identify and Promote Credentials of Value in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Communicating CTE: The Get There Florida Initiative

November 24th, 2020

This post is the first in a series that will highlight innovative efforts by states to communicate the benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) to key stakeholders including learners, families, policymakers and employers. Today’s post will dive into the Get There Florida campaign that launched in September 2020. 

Changing the CTE Narrative 

The Get There Florida initiative strives to increase enrollment in Florida’s 48 technical schools and 28 state colleges, specifically in high-value, short-term CTE programs that lead to a meaningful credential. The initiative is a statewide marketing campaign through earned, paid, and organic digital media led by the Florida Department of Education focused on changing the narrative on how students view state and technical colleges, and illustrating the quality and value of Florida’s short-term CTE programs for sustainable career pathways. The campaign is funded in part by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) grants through the CARES Act, aiming to assist postsecondary institutions in helping students enroll in and complete high-value, short-term CTE programs. 

Statewide and Personalized Approach 

Get There takes a two-pronged approach to enhance the CTE brand statewide while also providing students easy access to information at the institution level. The two main elements of the campaign are a customizable communications toolkit and a targeted digital campaign. 

Prior to the campaign launch, the Florida Department of Education established a working group of marketing and communications professionals from 12 technical and state colleges throughout the state to ensure messages and tools met the needs of their target audiences. 

The Get There communications toolkit provides a variety of materials produced by the Florida Department of Education that are ready-made for postsecondary institutions, but also provides files that allow institutions to customize the materials to meet their unique needs. The toolkit was made with small schools in mind that may not have the staff or resources to develop a large-scale marketing campaign. The full toolkit includes social media graphics, 15 and 30 second video clips, fliers and one pagers, press release and presentation templates, and logo files personalized for each school. 

On a statewide level, the Department is executing a hyper-targeted digital campaign targeted to prospective learners in areas close to a technical or state college. The Get There website www.GetThereFL.com serves as a central hub for users to explore Florida’s 17 Career ClustersⓇ, read student testimonials, and locate a convenient school on an interactive statewide map. 

A System-Wide Partnership 

One of the priorities of the Get There campaign is to connect with a population where the need for reskilling and upskilling is highest – displaced workers. Department staff developed a strong partnership with CareerSource Florida, the state’s workforce development agency that launched a Help is Here campaign in the spring focused on connecting displaced workers to career counseling and workforce training programs. The partnership has allowed the two campaigns to complement each other and provide much-needed support for students to overcome traditional barriers to accessing and completing postsecondary education. 

Henry Mack, Chancellor, Division of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the Florida Department of Education, believes Get There breaks new ground as a system-wide media campaign to advance shared goals. “Perhaps the most novel thing about the Get There Florida campaign is that it has never been done before, namely, there has never been a time where the state of Florida attempted a system-wide, integrated digital media outreach and recruitment campaign, said Mack. “Additionally, the development of a statewide resource toolkit, designed to provide materials to ALL colleges, has really transformed the way the state looks at marketing CTE, because for the first time we have a consistent brand and message that everyone has access to.” 

An Eye Towards Equity and Transformative Change 

While increasing enrollment at community and technical colleges is the primary goal, Get There is also the first step of a larger movement to raise awareness and build more connective pathways among K-12 programs, credentialing, apprenticeships and postsecondary institutions. 

Subsequent campaign phases launching this winter will focus on reaching more targeted audiences through toolkits with messages and materials that meet the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations, particularly individuals with disabilities and veterans. These toolkits were developed through partnerships with Florida’s Division of Blind Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, employU, Veterans Florida, and others. 

For more information, visit www.GetThereFL.com . If your state is interested in being featured in a future post, please contact Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement Stacy Whitehouse.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement

Welcome Christina Koch to Advance CTE

November 23rd, 2020

Hello! I’m Christina and I’m excited to be joining the state policy team at Advance CTE where I will be supporting the New Skills ready network project and collaborating on a new shared vision for Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advance CTE’s equity initiatives. I’m excited to work towards dismantling historical barriers to CTE and expanding high-quality opportunities for learners. 

I recently graduated with a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a macro (social policy) concentration. Here, I spent one year providing direct social services to students and their families in a Title I school and one year as a Policy Fellow for an organization that provides restorative practices and racial equity trainings to schools and districts. I was also very honored to receive the Julee Cryder-Coe Award for Advocacy and Social Action presented by faculty at graduation. 

Before receiving my Master of Social Work, I was the Professional Relations Manager for the National Association of School Psychologists for about four years, supporting their public policy agenda. Here is where I first became interested in societal and community factors that affect student mental health and inhibit their ability to learn, such as access to housing, jobs and health care. 

I also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from American University, where I interned for several education-focused organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, The National Geographic Channel, Capital Partners for Education, and completed a year of classroom service with AmeriCorps.

I’m passionate about community-led solutions to reduce barriers to educational opportunities, investing in historically-disinvested neighborhoods and engaging those directly affected by social problems in the legislative process.

Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I also enjoy going to the beach, drawing and my dog, Carlos.

Christina Koch, Policy Associate

Legislation Update: National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization and New Data Tool from ED

November 20th, 2020

News this Week:

This week, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act. Read below to learn more about this bill, as well as a new online portal to track education stimulus funding, a summary from a convening on work-based learning and Advance CTE’s priorities for the new administration. 

House Passes National Apprenticeship Act 

The House passed a bill earlier today, mainly on party lines, that would reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act (H.R. 8294). This bill would: 

  • Authorize $400 million for FY21, increasing by $100 million every year up to $800 million in FY25; 
  • Codify and streamline standards for registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeships; 
  • Codify existing regulations and practices for equitable participation and increased diversity in apprenticeship programs; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs); and
  • Strengthen the connection between the DOL and U.S. Department of Education (ED). 

There were many amendments that were adopted into this bill, including one from Co-Chair of the Congressional Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) that would provide stipends to those in a pre-apprenticeship program. 

It is unlikely that this bill will move in the Senate during the remainder of this Congress. 

Advance CTE is pleased to endorse the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.

ED Releases Virtual Platform to Track CARES Act Funding 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new online portal to track if and how states, local education agencies and institutions of higher education are using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The interactive data map shows how funding through the Education Stabilization Fund of the CARES Act was allocated to each state, as well as a breakdown by state of money for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. All data included in the portal was reported by September 30, 2020. 

ED Holds Event on Rethinking Work-Based Learning

Last week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office for Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) convened education, workforce and business leaders for a “Rethink Work-Based Learning” discussion. OCTAE Assistant Secretary Scott Stump moderated the event and encouraged increasing work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. A full readout from the event can be found here

Advance CTE Shares Priorities for the Administration 

This week Advance CTE published transition priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration. These priorities respond to the short and long term needs of the CTE community.

In order to achieve a full, equitable economic recovery and ensure that every learner has access to high-quality Career Technical Education, the next Administration must:

  • Embrace and promote CTE as a valued pathway for learners.
  • Make CTE a central part of the Administration’s economic recovery strategy.
  • Promote inter-connected education and workforce development systems.
  • Eliminate structures that embed systemic racism in education and workforce programs.
  • Ensure that states are fully supported in the implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act during COVID-19, including CTE-designated funding and statutory flexibility and waivers.
  • Attend to CTE-related challenges and supports during COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Double the federal investment in CTE to respond to the need and demand for high-quality CTE.
  • Expand Pell Grant eligibility.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team. 

The full recommendations can be found here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Welcome Stacy Whitehouse to Advance CTE

November 20th, 2020

I am a Virginia girl born and raised in Richmond, and I love the state and its beauty. My career has been built around Virginia government and politics, and I have served as support and campaign staff at the local, state and federal level. It was on Capitol Hill that I first encountered Career Technical Education (CTE) policy and the local programs in Virginia, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to empower CTE leaders nationwide to help every learner find their passion and excel in a learning path and career. 

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in political science. Prior to joining Advance CTE, I worked on community engagement with historically underrepresented populations in Loudoun County as a Project Manager for 2020 Census outreach. I loved the opportunity to bring unheard perspectives to the table and elevate voices through communication tools and outreach events to populations historically undercounted in the census. In particular, my lessons learned from working with the local school system and family advocates cultivated a passion about improving equity and access for English Language Learners that will shape my work as Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement. As Senior Associate I will be responsible for helping states and local communities communicate about the value and benefit of CTE to learners and families, supporting media engagement efforts and leading components of Advance CTE’s communications strategy to advance its mission and vision.  

My favorite things include sweet tea, pizza, reading, hiking, community service (I am a member of Kiwanis) and writing a blog on Virginia wineries.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement

Welcome Ruth Durkee to Advance CTE!

November 16th, 2020

Ruth Durkee – Vermont’s newest State CTE Director – has a robust background in education in various roles at the local and state levels. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Ruth previously worked as the state’s Agency of Education’s Civil Rights Coordinator in the early 2000s. Ruth then worked as a career technical center administrator for 15 years, giving her valuable experience to bring to her new role. Ruth will now serve in dual roles for the Vermont Agency of Education as the State CTE Director and Methods of Administration (MOA) Coordinator.

In Vermont’s state plan for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), the state focuses on defining credentials of value and increasing industry-recognized credential attainment. While looking towards Perkins V implementation, Ruth plans to focus deeply on the state’s work in improving program quality as well as attending to equity and access for each learner. Her impressive background will lend itself well in
strengthening Vermont’s state and local systems through developing and implementing effective policy.

Another area that Ruth plans to lean in on is aligning Vermont’s CTE programs to state recommended graduation proficiencies, which currently vary at the local level. The goal is to ensure that every learner in each region of the state has their CTE work equitably and consistently transcripted and credited as meeting graduation requirements.

Ruth loves to travel, but while that is not possible, she is channeling her wanderlust desire by getting lost in mysteries and historical fiction novels. Her favorite places to be at the moment are nestled by the fire with a great read in hand or walking through the woods and fields near her home.

Welcome Ruth!

Learn more about Vermont’s state CTE system here.

Legislative Update: Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bills and Panel with Federal CTE Leadership

November 13th, 2020

This week, the Senate introduced Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills. Read below to learn more about what this means for education and workforce funding, as well as a panel discussion about the history and future outlook of Career Technical Education (CTE) and the start of administration transition planning. 

Senate Introduces Fiscal Year 2021 Funding Bills

Written by Michael Matthews, Government Relations Manager, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Full post can be found here.
As Congress returned this week for the lame duck session, one of the most critical items on the agenda before the end of the year is the passage of Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills. As one step toward finalizing these bills, on November 10, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its long-awaited draft FY21 appropriations bill. According to the Committee’s highlights document, the proposal includes $184.47 billion in overall funding, with $73.2 billion of the proposed discretionary spending for the Department of Education, which would be an increase of $433 million or 0.9% over FY20 enacted levels. 

Even with this very modest overall increase, there was some very good news for CTE in the bill! The bill proposes an $75 million, or 5.8% increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant over the FY20 enacted levels, bringing its total proposed funding level to approximately $1.36 billion. This is $57 million more than the funding level included in the appropriations bill passed by the House in July. 

Below are some additional funding levels proposed in the bill: 

  • CTE National programs: $7.42 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Federal Work-Study: $1.18 billion, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Adult Education: $671 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • DoL Training and Employment Services programs: $3.585 billion, a decrease from $3.611 billion in FY20 
  • Career Pathways for Youth Grants: $10 million, level funded from FY20 level 
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: $2.132 billion, level funded from FY20 level 
  • ESSA Title IVA Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.25 billion, an increase of $40 million from FY20 level 
  • Pell Grants: $6,495 for the maximum award, an increase of $150 from FY20 level 

The bill is not expected to have a markup or be considered individually on the Senate floor, but it will serve as a negotiating position for the Senate with the House. In order to prevent a government shutdown, Congress needs to pass FY21 appropriations bills or a new continuing resolution (CR) prior to the December 11 expiration of the current CR.  

While the Perkins increase in the bill doesn’t come close to meeting the funding needs for CTE, it is a solid step in this process considering restrictive budget caps and urgent needs created by the pandemic. We will continue to work with Congress on appropriations bills and on the next COVID-19 relief package to advocate for more resources to ensure all students have access to high-quality CTE programs and encourage you to reach out to your Members of Congress to ask them to support the higher Perkins funding level included in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.   

Federal Leadership Speaks on Advance CTE Panel 

On Tuesday, November 10, Advance CTE was joined by an esteemed panel of current and former Assistant Secretaries for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), including:

  • Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for OCTAE, 2018 – Present; 
  • Brenda Dann-Messier, 2009 – 2014; 
  • Carol D’Amico, 2001 – 2003; 
  • Trish McNeil, 1996 – 2001; and
  • Betsy Brand, 1989 – 1993. 

Panelists shared memories over the 100 years of Advance CTE’s work, including work on the federal investment in CTE and the advancement of federal CTE Policy. The group as a whole expressed great pride in changing the national narrative of CTE to a program of value for each learner, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender or where they live. 

Former Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier complimented current Assistant Secretary Stump, noting that “for a long time, CTE was a dumping ground…based on race and ethnicity. It has been a long haul. Scott [Stump], you’ve done a phenomenal job to change that trajectory.”

Looking ahead to the next 100 years with the CTE community, Advance CTE is excited to continue to push forward in order to grow and transform CTE into a system that prepares each learner for a lifetime of success. 

A full recording of our 100 year celebration can be found here.

President-Elect Begins Transition Planning

On Saturday November 7, it was announced the former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) received the electoral votes required to win the presidential election. In the days since, President Elect Biden has begun to share his plans for the transition between administration.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team.

At this time, the Biden-Harris Transition Team has put out a public website: https://buildbackbetter.com. This includes priorities for COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. President-Elect Biden outlines four national efforts as part of an economic recovery strategy:

  • Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America;
  • Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future;
  • Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce; and
  • Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America.

In addition, Linda Darling-Hammond was named as the head of the education transition team. Darling-Hammond has an extensive career in the education field, including Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford School of Education, past President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and President of the California State Board of Education. Darling-Hammond also ran the education transition team for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Darling-Hammond will lead the Department of Education Review Team of volunteers, comprised of the following individuals:

  • Ary Amerikaner, The Education Trust
  • Beth Antunez, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jim Brown, United States Senate, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Retired)
  • Norma Cantu, University of Texas at Austin, School of Law
  • Jessica Cardichon, Learning Policy Institute
  • Keia Cole, MassMutual
  • Lindsay Dworkin, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Donna Harris-Aikens, National Education Association
  • Kristina Ishmael, Open Education Global
  • Bob Kim, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • James Kvaal, The Institute for College Access & Success
  • Peggy McLeod, UnidosUS
  • Paul Monteiro, Howard University
  • Pedro Rivera, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • Roberto Rodríguez, Teach Plus, Inc.
  • Shital Shah, American Federation of Teachers
  • Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers
  • Emma Vadehra, The Century Foundation

Full information on the Biden-Harris campaign platform pertaining to education and workforce development can be found here.

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Biden-Harris Administration: Transition Team Gets Started

November 11th, 2020

On Saturday November 7, it was announced the former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) received the electoral votes required to win the presidential election. In the days since, President Elect Biden has begun to share his plans for the transition between administration.

It is important to note that this transition planning is technically still informal, as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not begun the formal transfer of power or authorized transition funding to be used by the Biden-Harris team.

At this time, the Biden-Harris Transition Team has put out a public website: https://buildbackbetter.com. This includes priorities for COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. President-Elect Biden outlines four national efforts as part of an economic recovery strategy: 

  • Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America; 
  • Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future; 
  • Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce; and 
  • Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America. 

In addition, Linda Darling-Hammond was named as the head of the education transition team. Darling-Hammond has an extensive career in the education field, including Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford School of Education, past President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and President of the California State Board of Education. Darling-Hammond also ran the education transition team for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Darling-Hammond will lead the Department of Education Review Team of volunteers, comprised of the following individuals: 

  • Ary Amerikaner, The Education Trust
  • Beth Antunez, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jim Brown, United States Senate, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Retired)
  • Norma Cantu, University of Texas at Austin, School of Law
  • Jessica Cardichon, Learning Policy Institute
  • Keia Cole, MassMutual
  • Lindsay Dworkin, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Donna Harris-Aikens, National Education Association
  • Kristina Ishmael, Open Education Global
  • Bob Kim, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • James Kvaal, The Institute for College Access & Success
  • Peggy McLeod, UnidosUS
  • Paul Monteiro, Howard University
  • Pedro Rivera, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • Roberto Rodríguez, Teach Plus, Inc.
  • Shital Shah, American Federation of Teachers
  • Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers
  • Emma Vadehra, The Century Foundation

Full information on the Biden-Harris campaign platform pertaining to education and workforce development can be found here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Occupations for the Future: A Glance at Post-COVID-19 Job Prospects and the Credentials Needed to Secure Them

November 6th, 2020

Occupations for the Future: A Glance at Post-COVID-19 Job Prospects and the Credentials Needed to Secure Them

With the nation’s economy still reeling from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as 3.8 million Americans are now permanently out of work, it is important to invest in upskilling and reskilling the workforce and to advise secondary learners preparing to enter the workforce on career paths likely to lead to in-demand and high-wage jobs. However, state and local leaders, economists, researchers and business leaders are still working to understand the impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have on employment demand. 

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) and Burning Glass Technologies launched the Credentials Matter project in 2019 to help stakeholders better understand

industry needs and labor opportunity in the near future and to identify the types of credentials a learner would need for a career in these industries. As part of the project, ExcelinEd published a COVID-19 case study examining the short-term changes in occupation and credential demand by Career Clusterresulting from the coronavirus pandemic. First, ExcelinEd and Burning Glass identified the Career Clusters most impacted by COVID-19 using U.S. job posting data. Then, ExcelinEd analyzed each Career Cluster using three key occupational factors: a critical worker designation, a physical proximity score, and an automation risk score. 

The graph below shows the decline in U.S. job postings by Career Cluster from March to May 2020 compared to the national average of 41 percent. By analyzing the decline in job postings with key occupational factors, ExcelinEd was able to understand the pandemic’s impact on labor market demand by Career Cluster. 

The data show that some of the the most durable industries during the coronavirus pandemic were: 

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics — This Career Cluster experienced the smallest decline in job postings, with its most stable occupational category — laborers & freight, stock and material movers — actually experiencing a 27 percent increase in job postings during the pandemic. Industrial truck and tractor operators and transportation, storage and distribution managers were the second most stable occupations in this Career Cluster, though job postings for these occupations still declined by 19 percent overall. The overwhelming majority (96 percent) of careers in the cluster were deemed critical to the economy during the pandemic.

Architecture and Construction — This Career Cluster experienced the second smallest decline in job postings, with its most stable occupational category — plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters — experiencing a modest 5 percent increase in job postings during the pandemic. This occupational category was also less vulnerable to automation compared to others. All of the most stable occupations in this Career Cluster were deemed critical to the economy during the pandemic and in many cases pay median annual salaries well above a living wage of $30,000. 

Manufacturing — This Career Cluster experienced the fifth smallest decline in job postings. The occupations in this Career Cluster with the largest share of workers experienced a smaller decline in opportunities when compared to the national average. These occupations also pay median annual salaries above a living wage of $30,000 and most require less than a bachelor’s degree for entry. 

Based on this analysis, ExcelinEd and Burning Glass suggest education leaders evaluate how the career pathways and credentials offered in their respective states lead to critical occupations with livable wages, how to ensure learners are informed about the potential risks with career pathways that require greater physical proximity, and how career pathways and credentials can be used to guide learners toward jobs likely to survive automation. ExcelinEd also suggests that state leaders examine their licensing policies and any factors that might burden learners such as time, cost and processes. 

Labor and education leaders need to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the demand for jobs in order to better advise and prepare learners for the economic recovery. As the data in this report only represent the pandemic’s initial impact on the economy, leaders should consistently monitor labor market data and make adjustments as necessary considering economic conditions are changing rapidly. While much is uncertain about the future, this analysis by ExcelinEd and Burning Glass provides a glimpse into the post-coronavirus job market and raises important questions for leaders to consider as they begin their economic recovery. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

Welcome Nikhil Arur to Advance CTE!

November 4th, 2020

Hello! I’m Nik and I’m very excited to be working as a Graduate Fellow with Advance CTE’s Federal Policy team. Since joining in late September, I have been working on updating our CTE In Your State pages and doing research for our joint effort with the Lumina Foundation to learn more about the role Area Technical Centers play in credential attainment. While working with the team I am also pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Transformation from Georgetown University, with an emphasis on advocacy and policy work. 

My work in the education and youth development spaces began as an undergraduate at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I volunteered with local afterschool programs, coached youth soccer and worked as a camp counselor. Upon graduating with degrees in Economics and International Affairs, I served as an AmeriCorps Member (ACM) for two years with City Year in Denver, Colorado, providing academic interventions and classroom support during the school day in addition to afterschool programming for elementary and middle schoolers. I continued with City Year for an additional year as an Impact Manager in San Jose, California, focusing on program development and serving as an administrator in the afterschool space while managing ACMs. Following my time with City Year, I served as a Campus Director with Citizen Schools in Oakland, California, providing high-quality afterschool programming to students while continuing to support the ACMs working directly with students. Most recently, I returned home to the D.C. area to serve as an Education Pioneers Impact Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, where I focused on priorities concerning digital equity and inclusion and connected with state and district-level leaders navigating the remote learning needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

When not at work, I’m likely to be found engaging with community organizing happening in the D.C. area. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, watching soccer and cycling. 

Nikhil Arur, Graduate Fellow, Federal Policy 

 

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