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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

This Week in CTE

March 20th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@NOCTI1 “Your First Year in CTE: 10 Things to Know” provides many hands-on examples and resources for use in teaching within the CTE classroom blog-thumbnail-thiswek
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Obama and Walker: Both Wrong
A study of 150 CEOs, plant managers, human resource directors, educators and administrators throughout Wisconsin show that filling the skills gap is a multipronged approach. Employers not only want employees with strong technical expertise, but someone who will work hard and think creatively to solve problems, a true mix of hard and soft skills. A few educators and trainers in Wisconsin have developed innovative models of education for training learners across the skills spectrum.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
A Framework for Coherence: College and Career Readiness Standards, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Educator Effectiveness
Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at the American Institutes for Research released an issue brief detailing how the alignment of college and career readiness standards, educator effectiveness systems and positive behavioral supports, or Multi-tiered systems of support, can positively impact instruction while also supporting at-risk learners.
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MEDIA OF THE WEEK
National Agriculture Day
FFA’s National Agriculture day was March 18. Learn more through this video.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
DECA has partnered with Working in Support of Education (w!se) and American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to offer a variety of certifications.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

March 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@DiscoveryEd There are 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs right now.  Think about that. Not always about ‘future’ jobs.  #CorpsInEdu blog-thumbnail-thiswek@alcoafoundation
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Career and Technical Education Should be the Rule, Not the Exception
Tim Hodges, PhD, Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice makes a detailed case for why Career Technical Education (CTE) is critical to all student’s education. Research shows not only are skills more important than where a student graduated from to employers, but also that CTE concentrators in high school are 15 percent more likely to graduate than the national average. Hodges goes on to highlight his own experience in CTE courses, and how learning skills like fundraising, budgeting, teamwork and mentorship were key components to his work today.
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MEDIA OF THE WEEK
Digital Learning Day
It’s Digital Learning Day, and the Alliance for Excellent Education is live streaming the event featuring schools from across the country as they discuss how using technology effectively benefits their school. The program begins at 1 p.m. eastern.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
Teaching 21st Century Skills
March 18, 8 p.m. Eastern Time
This month, the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center is partnering with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) for their monthly Twitter chat. Join the conversation on Wednesday, March 18, using #CCRSchat.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

You Spoke – We Listened. How we’ve Changed the 2015 Spring Meeting

March 11th, 2015

Every year we take your evaluations from previous meetings and adjust our agenda, presentations and topics based on your reviews. Here are some of the ways we’ve made changes to this year’s NASDCTEc Spring Meeting in Washington, DC. For more information, take a look at our full agenda.cherry-blossoms-at-jefferson-150x150

“Suggest in future you think about having interactive breakout sessions. We ask that our teachers engage our students in contextualized…we should do the same.”

Great suggestion! To make sure that there’s a balance between didactic and hands-on learning, we’ve structured this year’s meeting around a variety of keynotes, panels, breakout sessions and discussion roundtables. We want to make sure that you’re hearing from panelists, but encourage you as a CTE leader, to share during these sessions as well.

“How do we change the perceptions of CTE amongst key stakeholders (parents, business, students, administrators, etc.)?”

Though we have come a far way in advocating for CTE as education for all students, we still have work to do. We encourage you to join the Overcoming CTE Myths collaboration roundtable, where you’ll work with your peers to come up with actionable solutions, guided by states leading the way. In addition, we’re hosting a panel Featuring CTE Excellence in the Press, where journalists on the education beat will talk about how to make a successful pitch to press, what has changed in the CTE narrative and how to tell your CTE story.

The conference seemed to be very heavy on secondary CTE. Many of the sessions did not offer enough for those of us in postsecondary or higher education.”

Given the importance of secondary, postsecondary and workforce development engagement in CTE, we have an entire day focused on cross-sector collaboration, as well as other postsecondary-focused content offered throughout the meeting. With panels on federal agency coordination around WIOA implementation and the Higher Education Act, two breakout sessions on efforts to implement career pathway systems and WIOA, and relevant collaboration roundtables, there’s something for everyone.

 “How do states finance CTE through performance-based funding?”

It’s no surprise that in today’s financial climate questions on funding come up again and again. We have some stellar examples of how states are utilizing performance-based funding systems which you’ll learn about from two national experts during one of our concurrent sessions, Paying for Performance: Developing State Performance-Based Funding Systems.

 “We need more discussions around industry certifications and the impact on state programs.”

Employer and industry engagement has been a hot topic this year, and we’re excited to offer two panels and a roundtable discussion on how employers are getting involved at the state and local levels, and, in particular, around credentialing. We’ll also be kicking the meeting off with a keynote address from Chauncy Lennon, Managing Director and Head of Workforce Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase, who will discuss their efforts to close the skills gap.

Registration and discounted hotel rates closes Friday, March 20, so register today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

March 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@CareerBuilder  The title says it all: 13 growing occupations with certifications to boost your hireability and pay grade: http://cb.com/1DENJld .
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How Google and Coursera May Upend the Traditional College Degree
Coursera, the online education firm and Google, who needs no introduction, have teamed up to bring together Instagram and a variety of other tech companies to launch microdegrees. These microdegrees will consist of online courses and a hands-on capstone project designed with input from universities and tech industry focused on providing learners less expensive and customizable degrees.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Power of Entrepreneurship
Intel released this video on how today’s technology can help people overcome barriers to starting the businesses they want.
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EVENT OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc 2015 Spring Meeting!
NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting is only a month away! Join us in Washington, D.C. to hear from national leaders, work together to build common solutions to problems facing Career Technical Education, get the latest state and federal policy updates, hear from best practice programs of study from across the country and network with State CTE Directors and partnering organizations. Registration closes March 20, so register today!
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

New Teaching Standards for CTE Released

March 4th, 2015

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released revised standards for teachers in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The standards were developed by educators, board-certified teachers and researchers organized around eight pathways including:

  • Business, Marketing and Financial Services
  • Community Services
  • Decorative Arts and Design
  • Engineering, Design and Fabrication
  • Information Systems and Technology, Communications and the Arts
  • Leisure and Recreation Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation Systems and Services

The new standards are up-to-date with evolving content in each of the pathways, as well as encourage teachers to adapt their teaching according to the needs and abilities of their students. Additionally, they also allow teachers without a bachelor’s degree obtain CTE certification unless their state requirements state otherwise. Learn more about the new standards here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Legislative Update: Congress Continues Consideration of ESEA as a Busy CTE Month Comes to a Close

March 2nd, 2015

CapitolReauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been at the top of lawmaker’s to-do lists since the 114th Congress began in January. Both the House Education and the Workforce (HEW) Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee have prioritized a complete overhaul of the law still known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  However, recent developments have slowed the process down and thrown ESEA’s reauthorization prospects into question.

In the House, HEW Chairman John Kline (R-MN) reintroduced the Student Success Act (H.R. 5)— legislation that was passed by the House in 2013. With a few modifications and small changes, H.R. 5 cleared the HEW Committee earlier this month on a strict party line vote and is now under full consideration by the House. Overall the bill would significantly roll back the federal role in K-12 education and would make a number of substantial changes to NCLB’s current structure (more information on the bill can be found here).

Late last week, the House considered 44 amendments to the legislation focused on a wide range of issues. One of the most significant amendments adopted came from Rep. Bob Goodlattee (R-VA) which would allow local school districts to develop and use their own assessments in lieu of state tests. In total a dozen amendments were adopted, including one from Rep. Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Thompson (R-PA) that would afford states additional flexibility to use Title I funding for work-based learning opportunities—a measure that NASDCTEc has been supportive of.

Despite several veto threats from the Obama Administration and vehement opposition from House Democrats, H.R. 5 seemed to be moving along to final passage late Friday afternoon. However in a surprise move, conservative groups began opposing the legislation for not going far enough to limit the federal role in K-12 education.  With no Democratic support for the bill to count on, House Republican leaders were forced to delay consideration of the legislation for a yet-to-be determined period of time. The longer this delay lasts, the more unlikely passage of H.R. 5 becomes. As some have already pointed out, failure to pass a rewrite of ESEA will only perpetuate the U.S. Department of Education’s current waiver framework— an increasingly unpopular (at least among members of Congress) series of state waivers  from certain elements of NCLB.

In the Senate, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a discussion draft for the reauthorization of ESEA and opened up the draft for public input last month. Like H.R. 5, this proposal would also significantly limit the federal role in K-12 education and seeks to increase flexibility for state and local decision making. Titled the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015,” the bill would eliminate the Adequate Yearly Progress and Highly Qualified Teacher provisions of NCLB— a proposal NASDCTEc has long championed for throughout the reauthorization process. However, the draft would eliminate the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program and has little to say regarding the importance of career readiness for the nation’s students— two issues that still need to be addressed as the bill continues to take shape.

The draft served as the basis for several HELP committee hearings on ESEA reauthorization over the past few months and received lots of attention following its release despite its lack of Senate Democrats’ input. More recently, HELP Committee Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced their intent to negotiate a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the law— a process that is still underway between the two. Nevertheless, the Committee remains optimistic that they will begin mark-up of a bipartisan bill sometime by the second week in March. As this process and more unfolds over the coming weeks and months, stay tuned here for updates and impacts as they relate to the CTE community.

Senators Introduce the Career Ready Act of 2015

Earlier this month Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus introduced the Career Ready Act of 2015 (CRA), a bill that seeks to promote career readiness in secondary school and helps to better align the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) with the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act (Perkins).

Specifically the bill would encourage states to incorporate multiple indicators of career readiness within their accountability systems and make this information available for public use and consumption. As NASDCTEc and Achieve’s 2014 report pointed out last year, nearly half of states already have such indicators within their systems. The bill would also align career exploration course offerings and counseling to the needs of the local and regional economy and would encourage greater collaboration between ESEA, Perkins, and the recently passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Additionally, CRA would strengthen the existing Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant program— an existing program under ESEA— by encouraging a stronger focus on career counseling, providing relevant professional development opportunities for counselors to use labor market information, and to build collaborative partnerships between community stakeholder groups such as schools, businesses, and local workforce investment boards.

While the bill amends current law, the sponsors of the bill hope to incorporate aspects of this legislation into the wider ESEA reauthorization process. NASDCTEc proudly endorses this legislation and remains hopeful that Career Ready Act of 2015 will be used to infuse a newly reauthorized ESEA with stronger career readiness components. Late last week, NASDCTEc moderated a Senate CTE Caucus discussion panel exploring these issues at great length and looked for ways to support collaborative alignment between the Perkins Act and ESEA. The text of the bill can be accessed here.

A Busy CTE Month in Congress Comes to a Close

February typically ushers in some of the coldest months of winter, but it also marks CTE month— an entire month dedicated to lifting up and celebrating Career Technical Education around the nation. Congressional CTE champions in both the House and the Senate have been busy these past few weeks vocalizing their support and formally introducing resolutions acknowledging the occasion.

At the beginning of the month Project Lead the Way (PLTW) co-hosted a CTE and STEM Reception on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Senate CTE Caucus and the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Senators and their staff had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the wonderful work on display by PLTW students from Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Further into the month, the House CTE Caucus hosted a briefing titled “CTE 101: The Nuts & Bolts of Establishing a Qualified Workforce” which was co-hosted by Caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA). Kicking off the event, Congressman Thompson spoke at length about the value of CTE to every Congressional district and the need to strengthen and renew the Perkins Act. NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green participated in this panel and provided an overview of CTE’s evolution over the past decade as well as priorities for Perkins reauthorization. The co-Chairs also took to the House floor in support of CTE and CTE month— their statements can be found here and here.

Odds & Ends

  • Earlier this month, NASDCTEc joined nondefence discretionary (NDD) United— a national group of organizations dedicated to ending sequestration— in sending a letter to congress highlighting the harmful effects of the sequester on programs like the Perkins Act ahead of the Congressional FY 2016 budget and appropriations cycle. Read the letter here.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 19-14 this month in anticipation of a wider release for guidance and regulations for state and local implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Read the letter here.
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the fifth iteration of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) 5.0— a set of definitions used in the data collection such as statewide longitudinal data systems. The new standards add additional elements of interest to the CTE community such as participation in career pathways systems and are located here.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently released a new toolkit for establishing and sustaining employer-educator partnerships. Learn more about the initiative here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

This Month in CTE

February 27th, 2015

In lieu of our This Week in CTE series, we are providing an overview of resources and information that came out of a stellar CTE month! Thank you to all who participated and advocated for CTE this February. CTE Month LogoTagline_CMYK

TWEETS OF THE MONTH

@NRAEF Economists say millennials should consider careers in trades: http://n.pr/1xCirYM via @NPR #CTEMonth cc: @CTEWorks @actecareertech
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You can also catch up on our Twitter chat with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center here.

ARTICLES OF THE MONTH

What all Educators can Learn from CTE Teachers
Due to new college and career readiness standards, all teachers need to be trained and prepared to integrate learning opportunities into their lessons. CTE teachers are a viable resource, as providing real-world hands on training to their students is integral to their teaching. Teachers can focus on three areas to include technical and employability skills in their education.
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College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens do Both
Students in Nashville, TN public schools are encouraged to take at least three Career and Technical Education courses by the time they graduate, often leading them to certifications they can use directly after high school and college credit if they decide to continue their education.
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Michigan Awards $50M for Skilled Trades Training
Michigan awarded 18 community colleges $50 million towards equipment and training benefiting an estimated 34,000 graduates.
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MEDIA OF THE MONTH

Find out the top 10 metropolitan areas for engineers.
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This infographic shows how Ohio is preparing students to be globally competitive.
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The American Association of Community Colleges released an infographic on 2015 Community College facts.
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EVENTS OF THE MONTH

Students showed their stuff on Capitol Hill for CTE Monthunnamed
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Association for Career and Technical Education hosted a school visit at Montgomery College where we heard from stellar students on how CTE has influenced their education and career goals, along with community partners and educators on what makes their programs of study such a success.
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NASDCTEc RESOURCES OF THE MONTH

CTE and Student Achievement Fact Sheet
Get the facts on students who engage in high-quality CTE
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NASDCTEc Webinars
In case you missed them, NASDCTEc held two webinars this month. First, we provided an overview of our 2014 State Policy Review, highlighting trends in policy in each state. Second, we took a deep look into Alabama and Kansas to see how they engage employers in CTE.
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NASDCTEc YouTube Videos
This month we updated our YouTube channel with eight new videos. Seven are based on the workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways. The eighth video provides an overview of the development process for the Common Career and Technical Core.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Inside Scoop from the State of the Union Address

February 25th, 2015

When Lisa Barnett began working as a teacher 27 years ago she had no idea she would one day attend the Kaine & IState of the Union Address representing Career Technical Education (CTE) as a personal guest of Senator Tim Kaine, co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus. After spending more than 20 years in the classroom as a business teacher, Barnett took on the role of Instructional Coordinator at Botetourt County Public Schools in Fincastle, Virginia where right away she discovered CTE was viewed as ‘vocational education,’ and appropriate only for students not planning to further their education rather than critical education for all students.

From there her passion grew and she became a fierce advocate for CTE. You can hear the pride in Barnett’s voice as she describes her district’s impressive Standards of Learning (SOL) scores, high percentage of students earning multiple industry-recognized credentials and near 100 percent graduation rate of CTE students. She attributes her selection as Senator Kaine’s guest at the State of the Union to the good work of the entire division.

Though the event was a bit overwhelming for Barnett, attending the State of the Union Address allowed her to see how her role and the work of educators across the country is integral to the bigger picture, and was thrilled to see that CTE is a part of that conversation.

Though President Obama did not specifically mention CTE, Barnett believes the invite alone speaks volumes to the increasing value of CTE to policymakers and the general public. “People are really seeing CTE as an avenue that can help us all get to where we want to be,” said Barnett. “We’re finally seeing that recognition on the state and national level.”

Barnett is also encouraged by the growing connections between academic and Career Technical Education in her district and beyond. CTE’s ability to show students how their future is dependent on both academic and technical skills, and this will only increase in the future. Education is not just about SOLs and testing, it’s about showing students the opportunities for their careers. “These are not two different pathways,” said Barnett. “We should be walking together.”

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

February 20th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
NRAEF  Amazing stat! RT @CTEWorks “@CCRSCenter The HS grad rate for #CTE concentrators is about 90%, 10% higher than national average #CTEMonth
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Jobs in Health Care on the Rise, but Skills Gap Prevents Hiring
Columbus is facing a skills gap particularly in health care and insurance sectors, New York City has over 33,000 jobs available in STEM fields, and Houston can’t find employees for petrochemical and industrial and commercial construction jobs. Career Technical Education is a way to educate students in these fields, but even more needs to be done to insure industry needs are being met. This includes: the collection of real-time labor market data and working with industry leadership to determine their needs; better funding; and scalable solutions that can be adopted across fields.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out our new CTEWorks YouTube page, where you can find CTE advocacy videos, along with seven video previews workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways.
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TOOL OF THE WEEK
The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center updated their interactive map to include eight territories including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to showcase how these areas are improving college and career readiness.
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CTE MONTH RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out the Association for Career and Technical Education for their variety of resources for CTE Month. It’s not too late to get involved, so make sure to take a look at their fact sheets, sample press release, CTE Month logo and more!
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CTE Month: Celebrating CTE Across the Country

February 19th, 2015

ctemonththumbnailWe have  heard of some great work going on across the country for Career Technical Education (CTE) Month!

A number of states are using CTE Month as a time to raise awareness around the importance of CTE. The Missouri Department of Early and Secondary Education is running a 30 second radio spot throughout the month to help educate the public on the value of CTE Month, while the Maine Department of Education released an article in the Commissioner’s update. Also Alaska, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin proclaimed February at CTE Month.

Some states took advantage of the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources, like Michigan, which requested all Department of Education employees to use the CTE Learning that Works for Michigan logo. In addition, South Dakota Career and Technical Education State CTE Promo Newsletter 2015 2Association developed a newsletter (that you can see to your right)  delivered to all legislators in the state, also using the Learning that Works branding.

Other organizations held grassroots events, like Salem Vocational Technical FFA Chapter’s road-side clean up and leadership conference and Seymour Community High School’s school tour, which was featured on the local news.

CTE Month is also a time to celebrate! The Indiana Department of Education held their 31st Annual Awards for Excellence Ceremony honoring students, instructors, programs and partnerships in CTE. The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Community College System launched the Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Awards to recognize programs, committees and business and industry partnerships at local, regional and state levels.

It’s thrilling to see all the excitement and good work going on from the national to grassroots levels in communities around the nation. It’s not too late to send us what you’re doing so that we can promote your excellent work too! Email your CTE Month activities to [email protected]

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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