New Advance CTE Research Provides Key Insights to Expand Employer Partnerships

October 7th, 2021

Today, Advance CTE released findings from a national survey of more than 300 employers on the top skills desired by employers, their attitudes toward Career Technical Education (CTE), and their current involvement in CTE partnerships. The respondents were full-time company employees who were actively involved in hiring decisions. 

Shifting the Skills Conversation: Employer Attitudes and Outcomes of Career Technical Education is highly encouraging for the growth of employer engagement with CTE programs – not only do employers of all sizes have an overwhelmingly positive view of CTE, but are enthusiastic about increasing involvement in CTE partnerships in a variety of ways. Employers also strongly support increased investments in CTE and see a direct benefit to such investments to their business, industry and the economy overall.

This research provides state leaders with impactful data points and messages that shift the skills conversation with employers to intentionally pursue CTE as a proven strategy for hiring talent, enhancing business’ bottom line and growing their business and industry

Key Findings 

  • Employers view CTE very positively and see CTE as a value-add. Employers view learners with CTE experience as attractive job candidates for both meeting skill needs and business growth, and employers hiring from CTE were more likely to report positive industry growth and trends. Eighty-three percent of respondents agree that hiring employees with CTE experience would improve their business’ bottom line.
  • Employers value skills more than degrees, and believe CTE will help meet their skills-based hiring needs. One of the most encouraging findings from this research indicated positive progress in employers favoring competencies over academic degrees, a key metric to advance equity in hiring processes. Employers chose categories such as flexibility, adaptability and job-specific skills as the most important traits for recent graduates by a margin of 20 percent over degrees. Additionally, employers saw robust alignment with their skill needs and the traits found in job candidates with CTE experience.
  • Employers overwhelmingly want to expand their partnerships with CTE programs. While almost every employer survey expressed interest in expanding CTE partnerships, only around 25 of employers were currently involved in these partnerships, and just slightly more than 50 percent reported recruiting through CTE channels. The findings demonstrate there is a great opportunity to expand partnerships at all levels with industry.
  • Employers strongly favor increased public funding for CTE. Over 90 percent of employers reported that increased funding for CTE would have a positive impact on their business, industry and the overall economy.

Next Steps

There are several communication-focused steps states can take to put this research into action to shift the skills conversation with employers and stakeholders that work with employers: 

  1. Utilize and share messaging resources: Advance CTE has created a fact sheet and key messages tool that provide ready-made visuals and data points to use when communicating with employers and policymakers about the value of investing in and partnering with CTE programs. 
  2. Evaluate and develop consistent routines for communicating partnership and advocacy opportunities with employers. Employer enthusiasm for involvement in CTE programs increased with repeated exposure to messages about the impact for CTE on learner and business growth. Among employers who reported already hiring from CTE programs, favorable perceptions of CTE increased from 69 percent to 79 percent after viewing a video about CTE. 
  3. Serve as capacity-builders to build and sustain local employer partnerships: When asked about preferences for learning more about opportunities to participate in CTE programs, local CTE programs were chosen as the top four out of 11 outreach options. States can provide local CTE leaders tools and infrastructure for relationship-building, such as Hawaii’s ClimbHI Bridge initiative or Colorado’s CareerWise initiative, or simply creating communication tools featuring employer champions for CTE, such as South Carolina’s promotional videos featuring learners in in-demand sectors.
  4. Leverage state-level business and industry partnerships: State-level partnerships provide another avenue to access local capacity-building beyond CTE-centric avenues, such as the partnership between the NJ Business & Industry Association and  New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools to launch the New Jersey Employer Coalition for Technical Education. Advance CTE’s guide to enhancing industry collaboration provides multiple strategies for capacity expansion and stakeholder engagement, such as the Maryland Department of Education’s alliance with the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education


For more information, visit the Working with Policymakers
web page to access the full report and supplemental tools, as well as additional advocacy materials and the Learning that Works Resource Center for employer engagement-related resources and tools. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement

Communicating CTE: Strategies and Message Tailoring to Reach Historically Marginalized Learners and Families

August 17th, 2021

Recruiting learners into CTE programs should not be limited to class registration season; repeated exposure to messages about the value and benefit of Career Technical Education (CTE) help each learner feel welcome and seen. This is especially true for programs that have historically marginalized some populations from full access and participation. The start of the school year is an ideal touch point to raise awareness about CTE as learners begin new academic experiences and explore paths to career and college success. 

Advance CTE released updated national research in April 2021 on messages and messengers about the value of CTE that resonate with middle and high school families both participating in and considering CTE. This update intentionally focused on exploring equity in tested messages, with an oversample of Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income. 

Several key findings resonated across gender, race/ethnicity, income and participation, including confirmation of the value of real-world skills as the top prevailing message for families about CTE; a strong interest in career exploration and skillbuilding as priorities for families’ education experience; and significant higher levels of satisfaction by those participating in CTE with their overall education experience. 

While the findings provide evergreen, consistent messages that can reach all families, it is important to remember that these messages and dissemination methods should be tailored to address the needs, aspirations and potential access barriers of each family, particularly historically marginalized populations. 

Several equity considerations emerged from this research for Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income, including: 

  • Families Value Accessible and Digestible Online Sources of Information about CTE: Black prospective families and current learners across race and income ranked Google searches in their top two sources for information about CTE. Prospective families experiencing low income and prospective Black parents/guardians ranked school websites in their top two information sources.   CTE leaders should develop processes to ensure that online sources of information about CTE are up-to-date, utilize digestible terms and are available on platforms and in languages that are accessible to each family.
  • Learners are more prepared for and likely to complete postsecondary education through CTE: Historically marginalized families not participating in CTE were much more likely to indicate their learner would only complete “some college” compared to those currently in CTE.   Among families with low income currently participating in CTE, 55 percent planned for  their learner to complete a postsecondary degree compared to 42 percent of prospective families. Among current Latinx families, the increase was even more robust, with more than 60 percent of families planning for their learner to complete a postsecondary degree compared to 36 percent of prospective families. CTE leaders should communicate CTE as an avenue that offers more options for career and college success and be specific about opportunities to prepare for and jumpstart postsecondary education.
  • Learners in CTE Value Opportunities to Make Connections: Black and Latinx learners and learners experiencing low income, particularly those currently in CTE, had stronger preferences than White learners for messages about CTE that emphasize opportunities to make connections and build relationships with like-minded individuals.  CTE leaders should consider utilizing CTE’s value in making connections with like-minded peers, instructors, mentors and employers as a secondary message to ‘Preparing for the Real World’ and be specific on how opportunities to make connections are accessible to each learner.

These findings have important implications for how CTE can close equity gaps, as well as what aspects of CTE should be elevated when conducting outreach to historically marginalized populations. Communications should be specific about the equitable opportunities provided through CTE to prepare for and jumpstart postsecondary education, as well as to gain visibility and networks through connections and hands-on experiences with like-minded educators, peers and employers . 

Historically marginalized families will be empowered to make informed decisions that lead to college and career success when they encounter communications that include specific programmatic offerings, are easily accessible to supplement in-person sources with language, and include visuals that reflect the intended audiences. Additionally, careful consideration should be given to confirming messages shared with families match the quality and outcomes of CTE programs provided in the region or locality. 

Advance CTE provides ready-made resources for local and state CTE leaders to evaluate and refresh their messages and recruitment materials. Visit the Engaging Families and Learners for a variety of resources that break down the research and support implementation, including a Core Messages resource that provides customized message themes with an equity lens and Dos and Donts to put the research into action. 

Back to school month is a great opportunity to utilize fast digital graphics in presentations and on social media with persuasive and impactful statistics on how CTE delivers for families. It is also an ideal checkpoint to utilize Advance CTE’s parent engagement tool to start or maintain engagement strategies with historically marginalized families, including developing processes to receive feedback from learners and parents/guardians on recruitment practices and CTE programs, utilizing CTE alumni in recruitment materials, and equipping trusted sources with tested messages to share in spaces beyond the classroom. 

Visit the Learning that Works Resource Center for additional communications resources, including reports on implementing Advance CTE’s communications research in 11 states since 2017. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

Communicating CTE: Recruitment Through Social Media

July 27th, 2021

In April 2021, Advance CTE released Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment and updated resources on messages that resonate with families about the value and benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) and how they should be communicated to each learner to achieve effective and equitable recruitment into secondary CTE programs.

Among the updated resources for states to leverage is Promoting Career Technical Education: Social Media Guide. Social media is an important communications tool that can be used by states and local CTE intermediaries to effectively recruit learners into high-quality CTE programs, build and strengthen relationships with industry, extend advocacy to reach policymakers and build a network with other audiences about the value and promise of CTE. 

Below are some of the key findings from Advance CTE’s recent research, as well as examples of how states used social media in response.

Participation in CTE increases satisfaction for families across all aspects of their education, but equity gaps exist in the levels of satisfaction reached in some aspects of CTE by historically marginalized groups.  

With a focus on recruitment and retention, it is important for learners and families of CTE to see success stories of individuals who look like them and share similar educational, racial, socio-economic, gender and geographic backgrounds.

Make an effort to provide an equitable lens across your content when sharing over social networks. Including learner photos that represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds, learner ages and learner needs is a great place to start. For example, the National Technical Student Association (TSA) used images of historically marginalized communities by race to recruit for the Technology Honor Society. 

The vast majority of parents and learners (78 percent of prospective families and 85 percent of current families) continue to value college as the post-high school aspiration, but are more open to paths other than a four-year degree.

Families and learners both participating in and considering CTE highly value an education experience that allows learners to explore opportunities after high school that lead to college and career success. In this example, Utah used graphics of learners engaging in real-world skills training to promote its Auto Mechanics and Repairs career pathway. This is a way of demonstrating the connection from CTE courses, work-based learning settings and youth apprenticeship programs to career success.

Tag industry and workforce partners in your social media posts. They are more likely to share social content that directly includes them, increasing your post engagement. 

Across the board, CTE programs are most valued and attractive for their ability to provide real-world skills within the education system, offering concrete and tangible benefits that lead to college and career success. 

Using local examples can help explain the nuts and bolts of how CTE delivers success by making the connection between CTE and a specific career or industry, as well as highlighting partnerships with local colleges and employers that are recognizable to parents/guardians and learners.

For example, Jordan CTE localized its tweet by tagging the medical facility where learners were able to receive on-the-job training through their CTE experience and connect their passion to a career right in their community. 

While teachers, school counselors and CTE learners and alumni continue to be the sources most utilized by parents/guardians and learners for information about CTE, online sources also emerged as an important access point.

Wisconsin CTE showcased CTE to parents/guardians and learners by lifting up student success stories. One avenue to find compelling learner examples is to coordinate with statewide or local Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and gather testimonials, photos and stories to share on social media. This tweet focused on a local learner success story to create human interest in CTE. To help expand the reach of this tweet, Wisconsin CTE used relevant hashtags and tagged the state CTSO and the university the learner was attending. This type of post is a great way to highlight CTE and the many ways CTE benefits learners. 

To understand more about the major social channels, how to create a compelling post, when to engage key audiences and how to build your CTE network, read the full social media guide here.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media 

5 Steps to Refresh Career Technical Education Program Recruitment Plans This Summer 

June 10th, 2021

The impending summer season is a great time for state and local Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders to take a step back and evaluate how existing recruitment plans and practices reach each learner and family to achieve an effective and equitable recruitment process.

As conversations continue about potential national investments in the career preparation ecosystem, it is essential that communications about CTE align with what matters most to families in their education, and address in detail the opportunities provided through CTE to meet those needs. Recruitment processes and communications must also address lingering stigmas, lack of knowledge and systemic barriers that have prevented learners of color, learners experiencing low income and other historically marginalized populations from participating in and fully benefiting from the potential of CTE programs. 

Today, Advance CTE released a second round of tools to help state and local CTE leaders implement updated communications research released in April 2021 on tested messages and messengers for CTE that resonate with learners and families. The research also details equity considerations and message tailoring for Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income so that each learner feels welcomed, supported and has the means to succeed in CTE programs. 

Developing and  executing a recruitment plan can seem like a big undertaking, but Advance CTE is here with simple steps to help you get started. 

Here are five easy ways to put this research into action this summer using messages and tools from Advance CTE: 

  1. Learn the key messages that resonate with families and learners about CTE, and message tailoring considerations to reach Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income. Our core messages resource provides three top messages for all audiences and additional messages for historically  marginalized populations. 
  2. Evaluate your current communications tools, including newsletters, digital media, website and printed materials. Do the materials include these tested messages? Have steps been taken to remove barriers to each family accessing and fully understanding information about CTE programs? Our messaging card provides a starting point for effective use of messages. 
  3. Inform your colleagues about key messages, and develop a plan of action to share these messages with stakeholders to ensure consistent communication both during and after CTE recruitment season. Our newly updated communications advocacy guide provides five keys to success and a step-by-step process to develop a plan.  Advance CTE has created a ready-made slide deck and talking points that make it easy to share these findings in a 20 minute presentation.
  4. Engage your ambassadors and trusted sources to receive feedback about current recruitment practices and communications materials.  Advance CTE’s newly updated parent engagement tool provides seven steps and assessments to evaluate current practices and fully leverage your team and ambassadors in the recruitment process.
  5. Reintroduce the value and impact of CTE to families through digital media this summer as you make plans to align messaging and equitable outreach across all communication channels. Advance CTE’s social media guide and ready-to-use graphics assist leaders in navigating the differences among digital platforms and keep messages about the impact of CTE front-of-mind for families this summer.

 

Visit our Engaging Families and Learners web page for the full research report and list of communication and implementation resources. Visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center for additional resources on communication, career advisement and access and equity. 

Advance CTE is here to help leaders fully realize and leverage this research and their state and community. Email info@careertech.org with questions or to receive assistance in putting this research into action.

Communicating CTE: Washington’s Statewide Initiative for Secondary Career Exploration Empowers Educators and Learners 

March 3rd, 2021

The third post in the Communicating Career Technical Education (CTE) series will focus on creative initiatives for career exploration for secondary learners by highlighting Washington’s State of Innovation Challenge. This is particularly timely as states continue to grapple with the difficulties of supporting long-term career exploration experiences in an environment of sustained uncertainty and student disconnect in virtual learning environments.

Background 

The State of Innovation Challenge, launched in November 2020 and open through March 2021, is a statewide initiative led by the Washington’s STEM Education and Innovation Alliance in partnership with the Office of Governor Jay Inslee, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Career Connect Washington. The initiative invites learners to offer solutions to policy issues related to hunger, mental health and community resilience that have emerged from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic while also exploring pathways to careers and postsecondary education. 

Becky Wallace, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education at the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shared that her office was inspired to join this initiative because of the widespread evidence that instructors were overwhelmed with the transition to virtual learning and did not have the capacity to fill the void of a lack of hands-on learning. The things that make CTE unique including work-based learning, real-world skill attainment and application have been challenging to replicate in a hybrid and virtual environment. As such, the Office saw this as an opportunity to elevate project-based and experiential learning for learners in all types of programs, empower the learner voice and leverage statewide resources to expand the career path students can name and see as a possible passion.  

The initiative proposes challenge cases covering three major policy areas questions: 

  • “The Food Chain”: Facilitating access to healthy, affordable and sustainable food during the pandemic, particularly for households that experience low income. 
  • “Responding to COVID-19”: Supporting the mental health of teens and the elderly 
  • while practicing social distancing, and ensuring access to accurate information about coronavirus and its spread while protecting privacy. 
  • “Our Communities after COVID-19”: Building more resilient communities in the aftermath of COVID-19 through improvements to housing, education, community planning and economic policy. 

More detailed subtopics are given for each challenge case that can be aligned to CTE programs. For example, learners that choose the Food Chain case can develop projects addressing school nutrition, food waste, food production or restaurant and hospitality impacts that connect to the associated career pathways. 

Learners in middle school, high school, alternative education and out of school youth programs are able to participate. The initiative is also accessible for programs beyond the traditional classroom setting such as Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs), community organizations such as 4-H Washington and Junior Achievement, and specialized programs like the Road Map Project that supports homeless and foster youth. 

Julia Reed, Senior Consultant for social impact consulting firm Kinetic West that guided the formation and implementation of the initiative, shared that the biggest concern was convincing educators that this initiative could enhance, not burden, their virtual instructional goals. Flexibility and variety in lesson plan offerings were prioritized to make sure the initiative was easy to participate in and would enhance student engagement in their classroom.

In the Classroom 

After choosing a challenge case, students and educators take several steps to develop a policy solution: viewing videos created by teen filmmakers connected to each policy question; selecting one of the provided subtopics for their chosen challenge case; exploring careers associated with the policy area; and executing a lesson plan and policy tool that can range from one day to one or more months in duration. 

The project solutions themselves encourage exploration and skillbuilding across a variety of career pathways, as students are allowed to record videos, create apps, design websites and computer programs, write business plans and more as part of a proposed solution. Educators are provided instructional guides for each challenge to assist building lesson plans, and are able to share their lessons through a group lesson bank and submit final projects for state recognition.  

Students are able to directly interact with employers and learn about career pathways within industries through virtual weekly industry engagement webinars. Past employer engagement sessions include interactions with high-tech manufacturers, firefighters and government agencies all based within Washington. 

Exploring Postsecondary Pathways 

Students are able to build on their exploration of policy, skillbuilding activities and careers by researching postsecondary opportunities for further education. Rather than recreating the wheel, this initiative elevates pre-existing state college preparation and financial aid resources, including Career Connect Washington’s Career Launch paid learning program, Washington College Access Network’s College Knowledge Materials with handbooks in five languages for grades 9 to 12 on planning for a postsecondary education path, and Washington Student Achievement Council’s Ready, Set Grad step by step online portal. 

Marketing and Equity Considerations 

Reed emphasized that marketing this initiative focused on building sustainable partnerships and reaching underserved populations by utilizing existing peer-to-peer networks. More than 40 organizational partnerships were established with additional intentional outreach to underserved communities, particularly learners of color, learners in rural communities, and Native American learners. 

Equity was a major consideration not only in marketing but the design of the initiative itself. Several strategies pursued include: 

  • The creation of a general secondary educator advisory group and an ‘open doors’ educator advisory group to ensure project utility for all learners; 
  • Industry engagement recruitment seeks to feature employers and career paths that would be relevant to students in more remote rural communities;
  • Challenge case videos intentionally pursued diverse casting and script copy that emphasized the unequal distribution of impact of coronavirus on different communities; 
  • Submission criteria for challenge projects includes an equity category: “You’ve thought about how this problem impacts people of different races or ethnicities, genders, abilities or income in different ways. How does your solution help address those different impacts?” 

This initiative reflects the enormous potential of states to scale up local efforts to connect learning to work and bring these experiences to more learners. Additionally, the inclusion of lesson plans and engagement opportunities provides timely support for educators and local systems that face unprecedented burdens in coronavirus response. 

Additional information and resources for this initiative can be found on the State of Innovation website

Communicating CTE is a new series where Advance CTE is exploring how states are leading the way in communicating about the value and benefit of CTE to key stakeholders. Read the previous posts in this series. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

 

Communicating CTE: Utah’s Tools to Sell CTE and Build Local Champions

January 12th, 2021

As the nation heads into a year of difficult fiscal environments and budgetary shortfalls across all levels of government, it is more important than ever that Career Technical Education (CTE) stakeholders are equipped with effective tools to sell CTE to key stakeholders. 

Empowering leaders to tell and understand the benefits of CTE has been Utah State CTE Director Thalea Longhurst’s mission since entering her leadership role in 2014. “In so many instances, I find that it is not that our policymakers don’t want to invest in CTE, it is that they don’t have all the pieces to connect the dots of how the system works, what the jargon means, and what the outcomes are. That has serious consequences for policy, and we wanted to fix that”, said Longhurst. 

One of the first initiatives Longhurst pursued was advocacy training programs for local CTE educators and advocates. The state conducted workshops lead by advocacy experts to help CTE supporters explain and market CTE programs and outcomes to policymakers and administrators. 

Another goal of the Utah CTE Department was to create a ‘one stop shop’ for data-based outcomes about CTE program enrollment, completion, work-based learning and attainment. As a result, each year the state office creates an At-A-Glance fact sheet with colorful graphics and statistics to help advocates and policymakers understand the benefits of CTE in Utah. Two things that make Utah’s fact sheets unique is that individual fact sheets are created for the state and regional level as well as each locality, and the inclusion of definitions for common CTE terms such as concentrator, certification and work-based learning that those outside of the CTE field may not be familiar with to ensure stakeholders can connect the outcomes to the education system as a whole. 

Now on its fourth version, the fact sheets are used by the Governor’s Office, legislators, and employers, and many advocates have come to rely on this resource. “I just had an administrator call me last week asking when the new local fact sheets would be available because they wanted to use them in a school board presentation saying ‘We really need them’, shares Longhurst. “Our resource has a little bit for everyone that is involved in CTE, and it is gratifying to see that data and transparency is valued.” She hopes that as the state’s CTE data system capabilities expand that a dashboard and additional data points will be available to identify more successes and areas for growth. 

Finally, the team identified that CTE recruitment is a priority for educators, but one they often do not have time to plan for. As part of Utah’s participation in Advance CTE’s grant, Strategies for Attracting Students to High-Quality CTE, a Recruitment Guide was created with basic steps to develop a marketing plan, tips for industry engagement and social media campaigns, and ready-made recruitment events that can easily be adapted to meet local audiences. 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As CTE advocates and educators face more challenges than ever to execute high-quality and equitable CTE programs, we hope these tools are helpful templates to building knowledgeable CTE policymakers and champions in your state. 

Communicating CTE is a new series where Advance CTE is exploring how states are leading the way in communicating about the value and benefit of CTE to key stakeholders. Read the first posting in the series here

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

Communicating CTE: The Get There Florida Initiative

November 24th, 2020

This post is the first in a series that will highlight innovative efforts by states to communicate the benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) to key stakeholders including learners, families, policymakers and employers. Today’s post will dive into the Get There Florida campaign that launched in September 2020. 

Changing the CTE Narrative 

The Get There Florida initiative strives to increase enrollment in Florida’s 48 technical schools and 28 state colleges, specifically in high-value, short-term CTE programs that lead to a meaningful credential. The initiative is a statewide marketing campaign through earned, paid, and organic digital media led by the Florida Department of Education focused on changing the narrative on how students view state and technical colleges, and illustrating the quality and value of Florida’s short-term CTE programs for sustainable career pathways. The campaign is funded in part by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) grants through the CARES Act, aiming to assist postsecondary institutions in helping students enroll in and complete high-value, short-term CTE programs. 

Statewide and Personalized Approach 

Get There takes a two-pronged approach to enhance the CTE brand statewide while also providing students easy access to information at the institution level. The two main elements of the campaign are a customizable communications toolkit and a targeted digital campaign. 

Prior to the campaign launch, the Florida Department of Education established a working group of marketing and communications professionals from 12 technical and state colleges throughout the state to ensure messages and tools met the needs of their target audiences. 

The Get There communications toolkit provides a variety of materials produced by the Florida Department of Education that are ready-made for postsecondary institutions, but also provides files that allow institutions to customize the materials to meet their unique needs. The toolkit was made with small schools in mind that may not have the staff or resources to develop a large-scale marketing campaign. The full toolkit includes social media graphics, 15 and 30 second video clips, fliers and one pagers, press release and presentation templates, and logo files personalized for each school. 

On a statewide level, the Department is executing a hyper-targeted digital campaign targeted to prospective learners in areas close to a technical or state college. The Get There website www.GetThereFL.com serves as a central hub for users to explore Florida’s 17 Career ClustersⓇ, read student testimonials, and locate a convenient school on an interactive statewide map. 

A System-Wide Partnership 

One of the priorities of the Get There campaign is to connect with a population where the need for reskilling and upskilling is highest – displaced workers. Department staff developed a strong partnership with CareerSource Florida, the state’s workforce development agency that launched a Help is Here campaign in the spring focused on connecting displaced workers to career counseling and workforce training programs. The partnership has allowed the two campaigns to complement each other and provide much-needed support for students to overcome traditional barriers to accessing and completing postsecondary education. 

Henry Mack, Chancellor, Division of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the Florida Department of Education, believes Get There breaks new ground as a system-wide media campaign to advance shared goals. “Perhaps the most novel thing about the Get There Florida campaign is that it has never been done before, namely, there has never been a time where the state of Florida attempted a system-wide, integrated digital media outreach and recruitment campaign, said Mack. “Additionally, the development of a statewide resource toolkit, designed to provide materials to ALL colleges, has really transformed the way the state looks at marketing CTE, because for the first time we have a consistent brand and message that everyone has access to.” 

An Eye Towards Equity and Transformative Change 

While increasing enrollment at community and technical colleges is the primary goal, Get There is also the first step of a larger movement to raise awareness and build more connective pathways among K-12 programs, credentialing, apprenticeships and postsecondary institutions. 

Subsequent campaign phases launching this winter will focus on reaching more targeted audiences through toolkits with messages and materials that meet the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations, particularly individuals with disabilities and veterans. These toolkits were developed through partnerships with Florida’s Division of Blind Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, employU, Veterans Florida, and others. 

For more information, visit www.GetThereFL.com . If your state is interested in being featured in a future post, please contact Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement Stacy Whitehouse.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement

 

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