How to Promote Career Technical Education as Vital to Economic Recovery

September 3rd, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has affected the most foundational aspects of our society, including our education systems and nation’s economy. With millions of Americans unemployed and some industry sectors shuttered or undergoing rapid transformation, Black and Latinx workers, workers with a high school education or less and female workers have been disproportionately impacted. [1] Now, more than ever, CTE is vital to our nation’s learners, employers and America’s economic recovery.

States play a critical role in making the case for CTE. As such, Advance CTE released new assets to help state CTE leaders communicate with policymakers, the media, employers and other key stakeholders. 

Below is a brief overview of each asset and how it can be used. However, before you get started, make sure you, your staff and key spokespeople are speaking the same messages. Use the talking points in this resource to help guide your presentations, resources you plan to develop, and ensure consistency across all who will be talking about this important issue. Of course, supplement state and local data if you have it! 

VIDEO: 

CTE’s Role in the Workforce and Economic Recovery Video

CTE is a program that works for both learners and employers, and should be a critical component of America’s road to economic recovery. In this short video, there are major talking points that help make the case for CTE. All data referred to in the video is cited here. Link to this video on your state websites and in social media posts. This video can also be embedded in your presentation slide decks and in newsletters.

FACT SHEETS: 

Secondary CTE and the Economic Recovery Fact Sheet

Secondary CTE is critical to preparing learners for an evolving workforce and ensuring they have the foundational and transferable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. For secondary CTE learners and those individuals at the beginning of their careers, losing opportunities to gain hands-on experience and job training can have a major long-term impact. This fact sheet helps to make the case for a continued investment in our K-12 CTE programs. 

Postsecondary CTE and the Economic Recovery Fact Sheet

One study estimates that 60 percent of job losses may be temporary [2] while other studies predict a quarter of job losses being permanent. [3] It is imperative that we continue to invest in CTE and workforce systems to ensure individuals can have the opportunity to reskill and upskill to be prepared to re-enter or advance in the post-coronavirus economy.

Link to these fact sheets on your state website and in your presentations. Use them as leave behinds at in-person meetings (if you are having them).  

PROMOTIONAL TOOLS: 

Promotional Toolkit

This promotional toolkit provides recommended newsletter language and social media posts, a blog post and graphics. Use these graphics with the recommended language on your social media channels, in your presentations, on your state website and in your newsletters.

How To Talk about Career Technical Education and Economic Recovery

In this guide, you are provided ways to use the assets, independently or together, in your state and who to communicate with to make the case for CTE.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

[1] https://www.stradaeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Public-Viewpoint-Report-Week-4.pdf

[2] https://bfi.uchicago.edu/working-paper/covid-19-is-also-a-reallocation-shock/

[3] https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/covid/research-for-equity-in-recovery/how-job-training-matters.pdf?la=en

CTE’s Vital Role in the Economic Recovery: Leaving No American Behind

September 2nd, 2020

The Great Recession of 2008 had the greatest impact on workers without a postsecondary credential. This group of workers experienced the most job losses as a result of the financial crisis and benefited the least from the economic recovery that followed, leaving millions of Americans behind. America is once again experiencing a major economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 (coronavirus). However, history does not have to repeat itself. Significant investments must be made in Career Technical Education (CTE) to help ensure all Americans can be a part of the post-coronavirus economic recovery. 

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has documented the impact of the Great Recession in a 2016 report America’s Divided Recovery. According to the report, the Great Recession claimed 7.2 million jobs, more than three-fourths of which belonged to workers with only a high school diploma or less. As the economy rebounded to near-record low unemployment in the decade that followed, those same workers without any postsecondary credentials were unable to reap the benefits, regaining only 80,000 — or less than one percent — of all jobs lost. The report cites structural changes in the U.S. economy over decades, including a significant decline in the production economy coinciding with an ever-evolving knowledge economy, as underlying root causes to the inequitable economic impact of the Great Recession. Additionally, the industries hardest hit by the Great Recession were jobs that workers without postsecondary credentials relied on most, such as construction, manufacturing, and office and administrative support. Another factor cited in the report is that the industries that traditionally employed large numbers of workers without a postsecondary credential are increasingly turning to workers with more than just a high school diploma. 

America’s Divided Recovery demonstrates the importance of postsecondary credential attainment in an economic recovery. A 2019 report by New America, Estimating the Impact of the Nation’s Largest Single Investment in Community Colleges, also underscores the point and illustrates the important role that CTE — provided by community colleges, technical colleges and career centers across the United States — play in reskilling and upskilling the workforce. The report presents the results of a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental evaluation studies designed to estimate the impact of Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants on student completion, credential attainment, post-training employment and pre- to post-training wage changes. 

TAACCCT, which was enacted in 2009, was described by New America as an unprecedented federal investment in postsecondary education and workforce training, with nearly $2 billion in grants committed to 729 colleges and universities — including 630 community colleges. Recipients of the grants were tasked with updating or implementing new programs of study “using evidence-based innovations and strategies to increase the capacity of colleges to deliver more and better integrated postsecondary education and workforce training.” The meta-analysis found that, on average, TAACCCT grants had statistically significant and positive effects on participants who participated in the renewed or newly-created programs. Positive outcomes included increased credential attainment and employment outcomes and, to a lesser extent, pre- to post-program wages. Ultimately, TAACCCT benefitted over 500,000 students who enrolled in nearly 2,700 new or redesigned programs and earned more than 350,000 credentials. The most popular career pathways were manufacturing and healthcare, followed by energy, information technology, transportation and logistics, green technology and agriculture. 

The present economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus is similarly having a detrimental impact on workers without postsecondary credentials.  Since the crisis began in early March 2020, unemployment for U.S. workers with less than a high school diploma peaked at a staggering 21.2 percent before leveling off at 15.4 percent according to the July 2020 Bureau of Labor and Statistics data. Those with only a high school diploma fared somewhat better, peaking at 17.3 percent unemployment before leveling off at 10.8 percent. Meanwhile, workers with postsecondary credentials less than a bachelor’s degree and those with a bachelor’s degree or greater peaked at 15 percent unemployment and 8.4 percent respectively. 

Once again, the importance of postsecondary credentials is apparent as the workers who had some formal education beyond high school were impacted the least by the coronavirus-driven economic crisis and are rebounding the fastest. Any post-coronavirus economic recovery must include significant investments in postsecondary CTE and credential attainment so that no American is left behind.

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

August 28th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK 

Advance CTE hosted the final webinar of our Summer Learning Series: CTE’s Role in the Future of Work and our Economic Recovery. This webinar featured insights on the current economic downturn and how CTE can rise to meet the challenge and ensure each learner is prepared for economic mobility.

You can view the webinar recording and presentation material here

STUDENT STORY OF THE WEEK

Keilah Sadler has earned a construction degree from the Metro Community College Career Academy in Nebraska one year after graduating from high school. Taking CTE courses allowed Keilah to develop her future career plans while building self-confidence. Read more about Keilah’s story in this article published by the Omaha World-Herald.

INDUSTRY OF THE WEEK

This week, MxD and the ManpowerGroup released the The Hiring Guide: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing. This hiring guide is a playbook for manufacturing executives, HR departments, educators and policy makers as these groups work together to cultivate a talent pool and workforce to protect the digital interface of the manufacturing industry, now and in the future. Download the guide here

TWEET OF THE WEEK

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

This week, the House CTE Caucus hosted a briefing, The Effects of COVID-19 on Career Technical Education. Speakers included a CTE student, CTE instructor, State CTE Director and employer, moderated by Advance CTE’s Meredith Hills, discussed each of their unique perspectives on how they adapted to remote learning, the challenges unique to CTE, and opportunities for the future. 

The panelists included:

– Makenna Glassman – Welding Academy Student, Gateway Technical College, Elkhorn, WI

– Bob Kilmer – Retired Construction and Architecture Instructor, Enumclaw High School, Enumclaw, WA

– Angel Malone – Director of Career and Technical Education, South Carolina Department of Education  

– Public Sector Representative – Apple, Inc.  

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Louisiana piloted the Building Employment Skills for Tomorrow (BEST) program in 2018 to expand work-based learning opportunities for learners with disabilities. The BEST program connects learners with disabilities to work-based learning opportunities, equips them with real-world skills through training and provides mentorship to program participants. Louisiana continues to ensure learners with disabilities have the support necessary to participate and succeed in meaningful work-based learning and career readiness activities.

View the policy profile in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

K-12 School Reopening Plans: Exemplars for CTE

August 26th, 2020

As schools begin to reopen and learners begin their classwork nationwide both virtually and in-person, the health and safety of students remains at the forefront of educators’ and administrators’ minds. Throughout the summer, state educational agencies (SEAs) published school reopening guidance to help schools make informed decisions about the best course of action for their students and school community while maintaining safe practices. Whether continuing to educate virtually or in-person, these guidelines are as varied as the local plans that implement them. 

Considering the varied nature of these plans and the special circumstances that often underlie the logistics of implementing Career Technical Education (CTE) for a school district or throughout a region, Advance CTE tracked school reopening plans for each state and analyzed how they implicated CTE. The tracker that resulted can be found here. As of writing, 33 states’ reopening plans mention CTE in any way, including cursory mentions or health- or sanitation-specific guidance (see figure 1). Of those 33, 12 have robust CTE-specific guidance either embedded in their state reopening plan or as a separately published document. While each of these warrants viewing and merits discussion, we have chosen four plans to highlight due to their breadth or depth or because they have an innovative element that distinguishes their plan from others. While these highlighted plans are not the only examples of strong CTE-specific guidance, they can serve as models for other state agencies looking to further develop guidance of their own as schools continue to reopen and local education agencies (LEAs) continue their transition to in-person education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. (Last updated 8/24)

Minnesota

Minnesota’s state reopening guidance (last updated 8/21; CTE guidance on pages 95-101) provides comprehensive information about CTE throughout the state including guidance for classroom/laboratory instruction, work-based learning, career development and advising and career and technical student organizations (CTSOs). It also provides links to dozens of resources that are program-specific or unique to a particular program.

New York

New York’s state reopening guidance (last updated 7/16; CTE guidance on pages 103-108) provides similarly robust information across a variety of CTE topics. Beyond content and delivery and CTSO guidelines, this reopening plan also includes information about industry partnerships, guidelines for students with disabilities and standards for program approval, Perkins V and other data reporting. 

Nebraska

Nebraska’s CTE-specific guidance (published 8/4) provides guidance and guidelines for special classroom settings unique to CTE as well as general CTE guidance. They utilize “Guiding Principles of Nebraska CTE” (included within) to inform the document. Further, the setting-specific guidelines are delineated based on the reopening status of the state, which provides for flexibility across time. 

Tennessee

Tennessee’s CTE-specific guidance (published 7/15) provides in-depth guidelines not only for all areas of CTE, but also for how content is delivered (in-person, hybrid or virtual). Their plan draws from the Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE)’s High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-Impacted School Year (published in June), which asks guiding questions to ensure all considerations are discussed when undertaking school reopening at the local levels.

Finally, Advance CTE has its own guiding questions in the workbook Prioritizing CTE Through and Beyond COVID-19 that can be utilized by those at the state level to help employ quality and equity principles throughout reopening strategy. Additional resources can be found on our COVID-19 resources page.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

August 21st, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

STATE CTE DIRECTOR OF THE WEEK
Advance CTE welcomes Paul McConnell as the new CTE Coordinator for the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). Paul is excited to determine equitable ways to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) in his state, and to consider ways to better serve both learners and communities. Welcome Paul! 

ACTE CARES
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has launched ACTE Cares, showing appreciation and honor for our educators. Complete these surveys to let ACTE know how your needs have changed and what your self-care routines are! Survey completers will be entered into a drawing for a gift card! 

STUDENT STORY OF THE WEEK
Dallas, Texas CTE students at Allen High School operate a community restaurant on their high school campus as part of their CTE learning experience. As a result of the pandemic, this semester the culinary learners are now preparing to-go meals for their customers. Meals are placed online, prepared by the culinary students on campus, packaged and picked up by the customer. Read more in this article by Dallas News.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ED PRIZE OF THE WEEK
Space is predicted to be a trillion-dollar industry in the future, which leads us to believe that careers will be in-demand. In response, The U.S. Department of Education launched CTE Mission: CubeSat. This national challenge inspires students to exercise technical skills for a career in space and beyond. CTE Mission: CubeSat is open to high school students from across the country. 

For more information on CTE Mission: CubeSat and eligibility requirements click here. Mission proposal submissions are due by October 16, 2020. There will be a virtual information session on September 1, 2020. 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

SkillsUSA’s Diversity in Manufacturing video series continues this week with an episode featuring Daniel Pena from Santiago High School located in California. Learn more about Daniel’s career choice and how his CTE pathway contributes to his future.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
In a time of economic uncertainty, CTE is an absolute must. The need for ongoing investment is imperative. This week, Advance CTE releases resources for states to make the case for CTE during the economic recovery. Resources include a video, fact sheets and talking points. View all resources here.

Career Technical Education’s Vital Role in Economic Recovery

August 20th, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has affected the most foundational aspects of our society, including our education systems and nation’s economy. With millions of Americans unemployed and some industry sectors shuttered or undergoing rapid transformation, Black and Latinx workers, workers with a high school education or less and female workers have been disproportionately impacted. Now, more than ever, Career Technical Education (CTE) is vital to our nation’s learners, employers and America’s economic recovery.  

While there is great uncertainty about the pandemic’s ongoing and long-term impact on our country, there is certainty that CTE is vital to recovery because of its proven track record. The postsecondary completion rate is nearly doubled for learners in CTE programs (56.8%) compared to all two-year institutions (29%). And 86% of adult CTE learners continue their education or are employed within six months of completing a program. Additionally, about a third of CTE learners are enrolled in programs in leading fields such as health care, information technology and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) – careers that are especially important during the coronavirus.

Through CTE, displaced workers can upskill and reskill and prepare for reentry into the workforce and employers can find a pipeline of well-qualified talent who can adapt to and thrive in the ever-changing world of work. This is especially important given that after the last recession, the majority of new or replacement jobs went to employees with more than a high school diploma, including 3.1 million jobs that went to those with an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificates. 

As our nation simultaneously continues to fight the pandemic and also begins to respond to the economic downturn that has harmed so many businesses and families, ensuring that equitable access to CTE is part of the solution is a message every policymaker needs to hear. To that end, today, Advance CTE released new tools including a short video to help state CTE leaders make the case for CTE to policymakers and other key stakeholders.

Welcoming Paul McConnell to Advance CTE

August 18th, 2020

Paul McConnell is a lifelong Rhode Islander and has worked at the Rhode Island Department of Education & Secondary Education (RIDE) for eight years. Paul became the new CTE Coordinator in late March 2020, in the early days of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic: off-limits labs and classrooms, budget uncertainty and the rapid transition to remote learning.

Paul is approaching these challenges head-on and with big picture thinking, considering opportunities for structural changes and thinking critically about the lessons his state is currently learning in terms of which students are thriving, and which are not able to due to the digital divide and lack of access for some learners. 

Challenges aside and looking ahead, Paul is excited to determine equitable ways to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) in his state, and to consider ways to better serve both learners and communities.  For example, Paul is grappling with the fact that Rhode Island’s traditional school-aged population is in a decline, however the same number of school facilities have remained open and in use. 

No matter the changes necessary to CTE in RI, learners and stakeholders have a true voice. The state has set a meaningful precedent in stakeholder engagement as per Rhode Island’s CTE Board of Trustees standards: CTE learners have given input into their needs, and recently thanks to that feedback, some CTE centers have changed the timing of classes to better accommodate the learners they serve. Paul plans to continue to engage this group to find out where learner interest lies and how to respond to that with high-quality CTE.

When he’s not pondering grand questions at work, Paul is boating and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean most months of the year.

Welcome Paul!

Sara Gassman, Senior Associate, Member Engagement & Professional Learning

This Week in CTE

August 14th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

STATE CTE DIRECTOR OF THE WEEK

This week Advance CTE welcomes Elizabeth Bennet! Elizabeth has been a part of the CTE community for 20 years in Massachusetts and now serves as the state’s Associate Commissioner for College, Career and Technical Education. Read more about Elizabeth here.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Nebraska CTE has welcomed back their CTE teachers, virtually, with great appreciation and gratitude.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT CONTINUUM OF THE WEEK

Johnson County Public Schools in North Carolina has published and shared their new career development continuum during their recent CTE symposium held for new and returning CTE teachers. This career development continuum highlights career exploration in the early learning years and ensures there are transitions from secondary education to postsecondary attainment to the workforce. 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) are continuing to advocate for direct funding for CTE and workforce programs to be included in the next relief package. This would ensure learners are prepared for labor market needs, particularly as the economy begins to rebuild after the pandemic. We need your help to emphasize this message with Congress. Click here to ask your representatives in Congress to support the inclusion of funding for CTE, as provided in the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, in the next relief package.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Business partnerships are critical to the success of delivering high-quality CTE programs of study, yet building and sustaining meaningful partnerships remains one of the biggest challenges faced by state and local CTE leaders. Advance CTE and Ford Next Generation Learning partnered to host two roundtable discussions (in Nashville, Tennessee and Pinellas County, Florida) with employers, big and small, who are deeply involved in CTE in their communities to learn more about why and how employers can support and strengthen CTE programs. 

In Their Words: Why Business Leaders Support CTE, Career Pathways and Career Academies offers successful strategies and recommendations for other communities as they consider their own employer engagement and recruitment strategies. 

View the resource in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Welcoming Elizabeth Bennett to Massachusetts

August 10th, 2020

Elizabeth Bennett has been working in Career Technical Education (CTE) for twenty years in Massachusetts and, as of early April 2020, is now serving as the state’s Associate Commissioner for College, Career and Technical Education. Most recently, Elizabeth was Director of Grants, Workforce Development and Community Outreach at the Greater Lawrence Technical School outside of Boston, MA, developing programming with local employers for under- and unemployed community members, people returning from prison, and out of school youth. The school boasted a long waitlist for these notably successful programs. 

Recently, Elizabeth completed studies in Urban Justice and Sustainability at Tufts University, spending time thinking critically about access to CTE programs in her state and piloting an innovative “After Dark” program, where learners would arrive at the Greater Lawrence Technical School for CTE instruction between 2:30 and 5, providing access to CTE to those who may not be available during traditional school hours. Based on this successful pilot, Elizabeth earned grant funding and expanded the After Dark program state-wide.

These days, Elizabeth is looking forward to the state’s implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) , after having worked on Perkins at the local level, and having written Perkins grants at the local level in her previous jobs. She also looks forward to elevating high quality CTE programs in MA.

As Elizabeth was an English major and taught English literature early in her career, we asked her what fictional world she might like to be magically transported to. Her answer? England during Shakespearean times to act in one of his plays. Welcome, Elizabeth to the State CTE Director community!

Sara Gassman, Senior Associate, Member Engagement & Professional Learning

This Week in CTE

August 7th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

CareerOneStop has created a series of videos introducing and highlighting industries and careers related to the 16 Career ClustersⓇ. These new videos can be used with prospective CTE students and families to help them learn about CTE opportunities. View the new videos here

CTE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK

Klein Independent School District (ISD), located in Texas, has been awarded the Houston Business Journal’s (HBJ) Innovation Award. Klein ISD is specifically awarded for their Advanced Nursing Pathway, and is the only awardee to be honored twice by the HBJ. A standout feature of the program is its commitment to community partnerships and access opportunities for all learners. Read more here.

POSTSECONDARY RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

View Pivot to Recover here

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

According to Michael Piper, Lowe’s Military Recruiting Strategist and Air Force veteran, “there will be an estimated three million job openings in the skilled trades industry by 2028.” Because of the growing talent need in the skilled trade industry, Lowe’s has made a $4.5 million commitment and partnered with AMVETS to provide grant and scholarship opportunities to re-skill and up-skill the military community. The opportunities include: the Veteranpreneur Business Grants, the Lowe’s + AMVETS Technology Scholarships and the Generation T Scholarships. Read more about the grant and scholarship offerings and how to apply here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) are continuing to advocate for direct funding for CTE and workforce programs to be included in the next relief package to ensure learners are prepared for labor market needs, particularly as the economy begins to rebuild after the pandemic. We need your help quickly to emphasize this message with Congress as the congressional leaders come together in negotiations. Click here to ask your Members of Congress to support the inclusion of funds for CTE, as provided in the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, in the next relief package.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Schools and colleges across the nation have found innovative ways to connect with industry to strengthen their CTE programs. However, with a growing skills gap and rapidly changing workplace, more must be done to ensure educational institutions have the capacity to prepare each learner to succeed in today’s economy. Cheat Sheet: Opportunities for Employer Involvement in CTE identifies ways in which employers can begin to get involved with CTE programs.

View the resource in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

 

Series

Archives

1