Over the last few years, the mismatch of the skills gained by students versus those needed on the job has become an urgent issue. In New York, industry leaders in areas such as high-tech manufacturing, nanotechnology, and biosciences have struggled to staff their workforces because students simply are not equipped with the right skills. To help close this skills gap, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has launched an initiative in his state to provide a Career Technical Education (CTE) diploma and a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) diploma.
CTE has increasingly been recognized for delivering relevant knowledge and skills that prepare college- and career-ready students for in-demand careers. Senator Schumer’s initiative shows recognition that CTE, including STEM, is vital to meet changing regional economic demands.
Schumer’s proposed CTE diploma is focused specifically on skills needed for success in New York’s manufacturing industry. The path to a CTE diploma would incorporate career-focused classes and curriculum that could replace an elective or a core class. Each diploma would require rigorous assessments to ensure students’ college and career readiness. Altogether, New York high school students would have three options for a diploma: traditional, STEM, or CTE.
In light of the urgent need for qualified workers in CTE and STEM areas, Senator Schumer is urging the New York State Board of Regents to approve these options and move forward with the process to implement the initiative beginning in September 2013.
Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager