Melissa Hickey Brings Creative CTE Leadership to Connecticut

Melissa Hickey is once again heading up Career Technical Education (CTE) at the Connecticut State Department of Education, where she has been working for the past four years. Melissa returns to this role while also serving as the Reading/Literacy Director for the state. She has held a number of education roles including beginning her education career as a second grade teacher, serving as a coach, science coordinator and district-level administrator.

Melissa brings creativity to her role, having recently partnered with the Department of Labor to host “Cuppa Joe Road Shows,” to connect business and industry representatives to educators and facilitate conversations between the two groups to both showcase and spark successful partnerships. Partnerships are key to how she approaches her work at the state level. In fact,  she created the Perkins leadership group which resulted in 2,500 people providing input into the Perkins V state plan via multiple online surveys and public hearings. Melissa strives to work across the many stakeholders that are necessary to make high-quality CTE possible, including the Department of Labor, Department of Economic Community Development, and business and industry, and even works to connect them to each other.  Top of mind for Melissa is working with business and industry as well as high school and community college leaders to engage in conversations to establish new industry recognized credentials.

There’s lots of change in Connecticut, as state staff turn towards implementing their Perkins state plan, and the recent change of Career Clusters in the state. However, in the coming months, Melissa and her small but mighty team are working to increase work-based learning opportunities and helping their colleagues across Connecticut provide high-quality and in-demand opportunities to learners.


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