During NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., attendees had the opportunity to participate in a variety of concurrent workshops. Below we have highlighted two workshops, one focused on advancing CTE in Career Pathway and another on Performance Based Funding systems.
Since 2012, five states have worked with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education to integrate CTE programs of study with state and local career pathways systems.
During a breakout session, CTE leaders from Kansas, Minnesota and Colorado discussed their wide-ranging efforts that include employer engagement initiatives, a transformational state pathways project and a toolkit for industry-recognized credentials.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation added funding to the Career Pathways initiative specifically to support transportation-related career pathways. As part of this work, the Transportation Learning Center launched a large data project to examine the current and future workforce needs across six transportation sectors.
Age is one of the greatest liabilities for the industry, with 49 being the average age for a new mechanic hire. Through retirements and attrition, it’s estimated that 4.2 million jobs will be open between 2012 and 2022. When accounting for industry growth, the Center estimates that one new transportation worker will need to be hired every minute over the next 10 years to fill industry demand.
During a concurrent session led by Steve Klein and Laura Rasmussen Foster of RTI International and the National Center on Innovation in Career Technical Education, presenters discussed opportunities and challenges to performance-based funding (PBF) systems.
This session drew on findings from the recent report, State Strategies for Financing CTE, which was discussed in detail on this co-hosted webinar, but was moderated as an open forum, with state leaders engaging in an candid discussion on what was working and what barriers stood in the way in supporting PBF.
For example, Texas shared details on their incentive grant program, which uses Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) funds to encourage higher enrollment in CTE programs, particularly in rural communities. Districts meeting a certain threshold of their Perkins performance indicators are eligible for a sliding amount of incentive funds. Kansas shared early successes of its (state-funded) district incentive grants for students earning state-approved industry-recognized credentials.
Some of the major takeaways shared include:
- Be clear about the goals and intent when designing PBF (“If you pay for it, you will get more of it”),
- A little money can go a long way in changing behavior,
- PBF systems will only work if they are based on quality indicators, which rely on valid and reliable data, and
- Be sure to build support among policymakers and practitioners early and often to make PBF happen.
Post written by Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate and Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director