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CTE: A Gateway to the Middle Class

In his remarks at the Green Jobs Summit (June 17, 2009), Vice President Biden commented “a job is more than a paycheck. A job is about pride. A job is about dignity. A job is about respect.  He made these comments in the context of sharing information about the Middle Class Taskforce  he is leading.

After the summit, the word respect kept lingering in my mind and inspired me to write this blog post. Remember Rodney Dangerfield’s infamous saying  I get “no respect.”  CTE also doesn’t get the respect that it deserves.  Still burdened with the yoke of the image of dirty shop class where you send other people’s kids, CTE is too often portrayed in the sterotypical way.  And then there is Arthea Franklin’s toe-tapping song “R-E-S-P-E-C-T“; what do we have to do to earn “just a little bit?”  Perhaps we in CTE can use this opportunity to rally our efforts, be proactive and help the Vice President achieve his goal for more Americans to gain access to the middle class and earn ‘a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ while we are at it.

So here is what I propose –  a message to Vice President Biden –

Mr. Vice President, 

We agree with your comments made at the Green Jobs Summit. We must help more Americans realize your goal of finding jobs that offer pride, dignity and respect and give them a chance at being part of the middle class.

Career technical education (CTE) has helped millions of Americans find pride, dignity and respect through a career that provides a family sustaining wage. We stand ready to do more but we need your help.

Help us change the perception of the careers that keep America strong. Careers like those in fields of transportation, manufacturing, construction, and health care. These are all careers that support our nation’s security, ensure quality of life and stimulate our economy. Help us help more Americans achieve your goal by investing in CTE! 

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