A recently released book highlights the importance of policies that prepare individuals for U.S. jobs by aligning education/training with economic demands. In fact, in a recent blog, a co-author of Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? What National and Local Job Quality and Dynamics Mean for U.S. Workers, points to high-quality CTE as a key strategy to be included in such policies.
However, Author Harry J. Holzer does go on to say “high-quality career and technical education (through Career Academies and apprenticeships), and ‘sectoral strategies’ that combine post-secondary certifications with services for workers and direct outreach to employers, have been remarkably successful preparing less-educated workers for good jobs.”
While it is certainly true that CTE has played a key role in engaging disadvantaged youth who historically perform below the averages of their counterparts, Holzer’s comment could imply that CTE is designed for the less-educated. This statement should serve as a reminder that while CTE may be considered as an approach to solving the problems of tomorrow, we must continue to break the stereotypes of the past.
For the most part, Holzer underscores great opportunities for CTE to contribute to the needs of job training. He points out the necessity for policies that encourage “more education and training aligned with the needs of employers in sectors that routinely pay well – such as construction and manufacturing, wholesale trade, health care, even some parts of retail trade – where applicants’ skill levels often fall short of employer needs.” The next step is for individuals to see the full potential of CTE as a means to help anyone, of all education backgrounds, who wants to work and succeed.