Getting to Know the 2022- 2024 Advance CTE – ECMCF Fellows Part 3

January 3rd, 2023

In September, Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation announced the second cohort of The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education (CTE) Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE—Sponsored by ECMC Foundation. The Advance CTE — ECMCF Fellows include representation across multiple demographic categories reflecting the Fellowship’s goal of intentionally building a postsecondary leadership pipeline for underserved populations in Career Technical Education (CTE)  that closes racial representation gaps and removes equity barriers to postsecondary leadership advancement. 

Over the next several weeks, this blog series will introduce each Fellow participating in the second cohort of emerging leaders from 14 states, including 12 professionals of color.

Dominique Footes – Maryland

Dominique Footes’ (Maryland) experience focuses on college and career readiness for learners across postsecondary, non-profit and commercial sectors. Currently, she serves as the Special Programs Administrator for the Southeastern Universities Research Association. In this role, she works alongside partnering universities and scientists to develop and implement early career development, mentoring, and student programming for Goddard Earth Science Technology and Research II. Footes earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

 

Dr. Crystal Gardner – Texas

 Dr. Crystal Gardner (Texas) is an experienced educator with a record of success in improving school systems and championing culturally responsive professional development at the secondary and postsecondary levels. She currently serves as the Instructional Supervisor for the Houston Community College Alternative Teacher Certification Program. In this role, Dr. Gardner oversees instructional operations, program development, quality control, and compliance management. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Prairie View A&M University and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Texas Southern University.

 

Davil Jackson – California

Davil  Jackson (California) is passionate about empowering youth and young adult learners and has significant experience in apprenticeship program management and career readiness advising.  Currently, Jackson serves as a Career Services Advisor at the University of California, Riverside Extension. He earned a Multi-Craft Core Curriculum Apprenticeship Readiness Instructor Certification from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California – San Bernardino. He is currently set to complete a master’s degree in education from Touro College in the fall of 2022.

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate

Legislative Update: New House CTE Caucus Leader Announced As Congress Nears Funding Deal

December 16th, 2022

This week the House CTE Caucus announced a new co-chair to lead the caucus in the upcoming 118th Congress. Meanwhile, lawmakers have continued to make progress on federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding in the hopes of completing work before the end of the year. 

House CTE Caucus Leadership Announcement

This morning longtime House CTE Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) announced that Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) will succeed Langevin in the upcoming 118th Congress as the new Democratic co-chair of this bipartisan caucus. Alongside his colleague Rep. Thompson, Rep. Langevin led the House CTE Caucus for over a decade. He is set to retire at the end of the current 117th Congress. “Representative Langevin’s leadership as co-chair of the House CTE Caucus culminates over two decades of dedication to increase the awareness of and support for CTE and its learners,” said Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kimberly Green when this news was announced. “Advance CTE is incredibly grateful for his partnership and dedication, and we wish him the very best in his next chapter. We look forward to working with Representative Bonamici in the next Congress to secure the necessary resources for state leaders to build high-quality, equitable CTE systems for every learner.” 

Our organization is appreciative of Rep. Langevin’s many years of service in support of high-quality CTE programs and the millions of learners they serve across the country. We look forward to continuing this work in the next Congress in collaboration with Rep. Bonamici in this new capacity. 

Lawmakers Near Agreement on FY23 Funding

Congress stayed in session this week as part of a busy lame duck session to attend to a number of “must-pass” items still left on lawmakers’ agendas. Top among this list is the need to pass full-year funding legislation for FY23 . Current stopgap legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), extended FY22 funding through December 16 (today) of this year for all federal operations and programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). 

For weeks, lawmakers have struggled to find consensus on topline spending figures for defense and non-defense spending. On Tuesday evening, Congressional leaders announced that they had reached a tentative agreement on the overall size of an FY23 package—an important first step in the wider process of developing a full-year FY23 funding package. At present, this “framework” agreement will reportedly total approximately $1.7 trillion, but specific details regarding this emerging deal have yet to be made public. In the interim, lawmakers passed an additional CR last night, lasting through December 23, to provide themselves with more time as they continue to negotiate the specific program-level spending details underlying this forthcoming funding package. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to work with partners on Capitol Hill to advocate for full-year FY23 funding and to encourage greater investments in CTE as part of this wider process.

ED Hosts STEM Summit

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) hosted a “YOU Belong in STEM” summit at its Washington, D.C. headquarters to support and promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across the nation. The convening brought together stakeholders to discuss strategies and best practices for how to implement, at scale, high-quality STEM education opportunities, particularly for learners from marginalized backgrounds. More on the effort can be found here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

Welcome Jodi Langellotti to Advance CTE!

December 16th, 2022

My name is Jodi Langellotti, and I am thrilled to join Advance CTE as a Communications Associate. As Communications Associate, I will own and implement all digital communications strategy and content, the Advance CTE website, and the member newsletter. I will also support organization-wide initiatives, including the Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship and Launch: Equitable & Accelerated Pathways for All. 

My experience is diverse as my desire for learning and continued personal growth has led me on an incredible journey from public school teacher to corporate trainer, to mental health advocate & educator, to marketing & communications executive. The messaging and communication that an educational program puts forth goes well beyond informative; highly effective communications can be transformative, garnering more support for policy, fiscally and from the community. As a communications professional, I strive to create messages and content that are not only received by the target audience as intended but also drive opinion, attitude, and behavioral change.      

Throughout my professional and volunteer career, I have been fortunate to gain experience managing multiple marketing and communications channels, performing community outreach in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, creating multimedia content, and building and nurturing meaningful relationships across organizations that foster collaboration growth and action.

Outside of work, I share my passion for mental health education and advocacy by volunteering with multiple organizations. I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, and our dogs  (Hank & Leela), cat (Meow), foster bunny (MJ), and goldfish (Harry).

Jodi Langellotti, Communications Associate

Legislative Update: Congress Continues Busy Lame Duck Session

December 9th, 2022

Over the last two weeks, lawmakers have continued to work on a number of pressing issues, including funding legislation for the current 2023 federal fiscal year (FY23). Elsewhere the contours of the upcoming 118th Congress– set to convene in January– are continuing to take shape as additional elections are finalized and leadership decisions are made. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance related to STEM education. 

Lawmakers Struggle to Find Agreement on FY23 Funding

This week, Congress continued to work on a number of important agenda items lawmakers hope to complete during the current lame duck session of Congress. Topping this list, is the need to fund the federal government and related programs beyond December 16—when current stopgap funding legislation is set to expire. This legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), has provided an extension of FY22 funding levels for federal operations and programs, like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), through this date later this month. Lawmakers are still negotiating topline spending totals for the major components of the federal budget. As a reminder, discretionary spending is split between defense and non-defense funding. Democratic lawmakers broadly favor additional non-defense spending, while Republicans are supportive of larger amounts of funding for the military.

This disagreement— how much to allot for both of these spending categories—has remained one of the primary obstacles for Congress to advance full-year spending legislation needed to avert a government shutdown and lapse in appropriations for programs like Perkins V. As this disagreement persists, lawmakers will likely be forced to pass another short-term extension of existing FY22 funding levels to provide themselves more time to negotiate a final deal. It is unclear whether lawmakers will find consensus on this important issue prior to the start of the next Congress, set to begin on January 3, 2023, but both sides are working earnestly to finalize a deal prior to the holidays. 

As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to engage with partners on Capitol Hill to impress upon lawmakers the importance of full-year funding and to encourage greater investments in Perkins V and funding streams of interest to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community in the coming year. 

Democrats Solidify New Senate Majority

As shared previously, the long-awaited midterm elections took place last month which resulted in Republicans retaking control of the House. While nearly all of these electoral races had been resolved, a final Senate runoff election in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and challenger Herschel Walker took place. After the polls closed Tuesday evening, Sen. Warnock (D-GA) was declared the winner of this election. With Sen. Warnock’s electoral victory, Democrats will have a 51-49 majority in the Senate as part of the upcoming 118th Congress. This majority will further solidify Democrats’ control of legislative and nomination processes which, over the last two years, had relied on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes when the chamber deadlocked. 

Significantly, this slim Democratic majority in the 118th Congress will also mean Democrats will have majorities on individual Senate committees, including the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which oversees CTE policy, in the coming Congress. With these majorities on committees, Democrats will be able to move nominees and certain legislation that had previously been bogged down by disagreements between the parties over the last two years. Despite these positive developments for Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an incumbent Democratic Senator from Arizona, announced that she is leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent. Although this complicates Democrats’ newfound Senate majority somewhat, Sinema shared in an interview today that she will not caucus with Republicans which means Democrats are still likely to have a firmer grip on the Senate in the coming two years. 

House Republican Leadership Continues to Take Shape

Elsewhere incoming House Republican leaders are continuing to make decisions regarding who will lead committees of jurisdiction in the coming Congress, including those that will oversee CTE policy next year. Of note, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was granted a waiver by House Republican leadership recently to run to lead the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress. This waiver will allow Foxx to run for chair, but she is likely to be challenged by one or more other Republican members vying for the position. Advance CTE will continue to monitor this and other developments as the 118th Congress continues to take shape.

ED Issues New STEM Guidance

On Wednesday,  December 6, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sent a Dear Colleague letter to state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and other stakeholders providing information on how existing federal funds can be used to  support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The letter aims to provide guidance on using funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), as well as other relevant funding streams and legislation, such as Perkins V, to support innovative, equity-focused K-12 STEM education and related activities. It also provides suggested examples and best practices for how to maximize the use of these resources. The letter goes on to emphasize the importance of STEM education in helping students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them for a rapidly evolving labor market. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

Research Round-up: New Reports on Work-Based Learning Address Impacts for Learners and Institutions

December 6th, 2022

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s focus supports a vision for the future of CTE where statewide systems and institutions effectively support each learner to earn credentials that are counted, valued, and portable.

Two recent reports from JFF and New America highlight the benefits of different workforce development programs; apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL), and the opportunity to increase equitable access to these programs for every learner.

Addressing disparities in apprenticeship participation may fast-track non-traditional learners into living wage jobs.

JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning published a report analyzing young people’s apprenticeship participation through an equity lens. The Current State of Diversity and Equity in U.S. Apprenticeships for Young People utilizes data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System to analyze youth apprenticeship participation from fiscal years 2010-2020. 

  • This report showed that, in total, 389,8860 young people (ages 16-24) started a Registered Apprenticeship program between 2010-2020. This rate outpaced overall youth employment. 
  • The average exit wage of $30 per hour for young people completing apprenticeships is much higher than the median wages among all young people, which suggests that work-based learning facilitates movement into well-paid jobs.
  • The data demonstrate that learners participating in apprenticeships are more likely to be white than non-white (63 percent compared to 35 percent) and more likely to be male. 

Average Hourly Exit Wage by Gender and Race/ Ethnicity for All Youth Participants in Apprenticeships, FY 2010-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This report identified “occupational segregation” as the explanation for the drastic differences in exit wages across lines of race and gender. For example, the data showed that the top occupation for female learners, pharmacy technician, paid $12 per hour compared with $26 per hour for the top male occupation of electrician. Similarly, these findings suggest that Black apprentices’ average exit wage of $23 (compared to $32 for Hispanic workers and $30 for white workers) is likely attributable to the large share of Black apprentices participating in heavy trucking and tractor-trailer programs, which paid $18 in exit wages. 
  • This report noted the shared benefits of increasing equitable access to workforce training programs: “When employers tap into a broader swath of talent, they often see a positive return on investment via healthier bottom lines and greater innovation, thanks to the wide range of backgrounds and experiences these apprentices bring to the job.”

Paid, postsecondary work-based learning pilot programs may be an effective tool for improving learner retention. 

New America recently published case studies of postsecondary institutions that have piloted paid work-based learning programs. This report, “What Everyone Should Know about Designing Equity-Minded Paid Work-Based Learning Opportunities for College Students” highlights the findings from case studies of emerging paid WBL program models across the country to understand the motivation, goals, and design of paid WBL opportunities available at two-year colleges. The findings include implications for state policymakers and college stakeholders in career services, academic advising, and workforce development. 

  • Paid WBL programs appear to correlate with improved learner retention strategy. Learners appear to value and engage more in paid WBL opportunities on campus or in the local community since transportation was previously an obstacle.
  • Institutions featured in these case studies funded paid WBL programs through multiple sources, from Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF), Pell grants to supplement student employment, and internal funding sources from the institution’s general operating budget.

While the learner populations across these reports vary, common themes can be drawn from the key findings of these two reports: 

  • Workforce programs benefit participants by increasing earnings and providing opportunities to gain in-demand skills, and in turn, these benefits are also enjoyed by adjacent stakeholders, including employers and postsecondary institutions.
  • Understanding learner barriers can create more equitable access for underrepresented learners in these programs.
    • Braiding funding sources can allow states to design more equitable programs and supports that facilitate young adults’ transition into competitive wage jobs.
  • States and postsecondary institutions still need support in collecting data on longitudinal workforce outcomes for those who complete work-based learning and apprenticeship programs. 

Additional Resources

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate 

Legislative Update: Congress Returns for a Busy Lame Duck Session

November 28th, 2022

Earlier this month Americans across the country went to the polls to decide the balance of power for the upcoming 118th Congress. Elsewhere Career Technical Education (CTE) champions highlighted the importance of career development while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance intended to support career connected learning. 

Midterm Election Results Become Clearer

Earlier this month, the long-awaited midterm elections took place across the country. At the time of our last update, the results from these electoral contests were still coming in with control of both the House and the Senate unclear. Since that time, additional outcomes from these elections have been announced making clear that the Republican Party will take control of the House in the coming 118th Congress. Democrats will retain control of the Senate, although the size of their majority will be determined by a runoff election in Georgia set to take place on December 6.  

As these results continued to trickle in, federal lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill just before Thanksgiving for a short session to begin the process of determining party leadership for both chambers moving forward. In the House, longtime Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her core leadership team announced that they were stepping down. This will pave the way for a new Democratic leadership team, likely to be led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). For House Republicans, longtime Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is currently working to garner the necessary support to be the next Speaker of the House. The final composition for both party’s leadership teams remains fluid. However, in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans will likely continue to be led by current Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pending final approval from their caucuses. 

In addition to these recent developments, it is also being widely reported that Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are likely to lead the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the next Congress. Leadership announcements for the House Education and Labor Committee are still forthcoming and hinge on the ability of current Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to secure a waiver from Republican leadership to serve as chair of the committee in the next Congress. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are widely expected to lead the Senate Appropriations committee which helps to determine funding for programs like Perkins V. 

As additional leadership roles and responsibilities become clearer in the coming weeks, Advance CTE will continue to update the CTE community and provide insights on  implications for federal policymaking. Congress now reconvenes this week for a jam packed “lame duck” session of the current 117th Congress where they must attend to a number of important issues, including federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding for programs like the Perkins Act’s basic state grant program. Be sure to check back here for more updates! 

CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Introduce Career Development Resolution 

Longtime House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Thompson (R-PA) and Langevin (D-RI) introduced a resolution earlier this month designating November as National Career Development Month. When introduced, Advance CTE’s Executive Director, Kimberly Green said, “A hallmark of high-quality CTE is career development opportunities that equitably support learners as they explore and pursue their career passion. Advance CTE is proud to support this bipartisan resolution designating November as National Career Development Month from Representatives Thompson and Langevin, which recognizes the crucial role career development contributes to a skilled workforce and learner success in education, work, and in life.” Read more about the resolution here

Department of Education Announces Initiative to “Unlock Career Success”

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently  announced the launch of a new initiative called Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success. This is a new Administration initiative supported in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor aimed at increasing and expanding access to high-quality college and career pathways programs to help more young Americans pursue careers in in-demand fields, and prepare for careers of the future.  The effort is intended to strengthen ties between K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce programs among other priorities. As part of this announcement, the Departments shared that they are also providing $5.6 million in competitive funding for a new grant initiative that aims to expand work-based learning opportunities for students. The department also plans to host regional summits with students, educators, employers and other stakeholders to learn about practices that have led to success and challenges that must be addressed.

Department of Education Publishes Guidance on ARP Funding Use for Career Pathways

The U.S. Department of Education released new guidance through a Dear Colleague letter on how unspent federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other pandemic aid packages can be used for career pathways. The guidance highlights how these resources can be leveraged around four main priority areas including, expanding access to dual enrollment opportunities, providing strong career and college advisement and navigation supports, expanding opportunities for high-quality work-based learning, and giving all students the option to earn industry-sought credentials. Be sure to check out Advance CTE’s resource– published last year– which also provided ideas and guidance to the CTE community regarding how these funds could be used in support of CTE. 

Senate CTE Caucus Hosts Apprenticeship Briefing

Written by Jori Houck, Media Relations and Advocacy Associate, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Original post can be found here

On November 15, the Senate CTE Caucus, alongside the Swiss and Austrian Embassies, held a Capitol Hill briefing on Women in Apprenticeship to highlight both National Apprenticeship Week and the Austrian and Swiss apprenticeship models. Welcoming remarks were made by Ambassador of Switzerland Jacques Pitteloud and the Austrian Chargé d’Affairs Günther Salzmann. Both expressed a desire to broaden the influence of the Swiss and Austrian apprenticeship models in the United States.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) offered additional remarks, highlighting the connection between CTE and apprenticeships. He discussed how recent federal investments will ensure that CTE is at the forefront of preparing apprentices and all learners for good-paying, in-demand jobs. Sen. Hickenlooper also declared that he had officially joined the CTE Caucus!

A panel discussion followed and was moderated by Thomas Mayr of Austria’s Vocational Education and Training department. Apprentices and representatives from four Swiss and Austrian companies, Zurich Insurance of Illinois, Swiss Krono of South Carolina, Egger Wood Products of North Carolina and Engel Machinery of Pennsylvania, each spoke about the recruitment challenges, opportunities, supports needed and benefits of their apprenticeship programs. Each apprentice expressed that if given the chance to pursue an apprenticeship again, they would make the same decision.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

Welcome Sonia Slone to Advance CTE!

November 28th, 2022

My name is Sonia Slone and I am truly excited to join the Advance CTE Team! In my capacity as the Director of Operations, I will ensure that Advance CTE has the operational and financial management systems, organizational processes, policies, and infrastructure needed to support the team, members and Career Technical Education (CTE) community. I am particularly enthusiastic to ensure all processes and procedures are in line with Advance CTE’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

I have always had a passion for education. Many of my family members and dear friends are educators and I am a true supporter of education as a pathway of achieving one’s full potential. I am excited to put my knowledge to serving Advance CTE’s mission as it aligns with my values and commitment to provide all learners with programs and pathways to ensure their career and college success.

For more than a decade, I have led the operations of a national nonprofit in the youth justice space which equipped me with the skills and experience to take on this role.

I was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador and completed 4 years of a dentistry program. Since I moved to the United States, I have dedicated my career to business administration and have worked for multiple companies in corporate and non-profit management.

I completed my undergraduate studies majoring in Business Administration and hold a Masters degree in Business Administration.

A few of my favorite things include: spending time with my husband and two kids, going to marching band and dance competitions, baking, exploring new restaurants, volunteering,  vacationing to the beach and traveling.

Sonia Slone, Director of Operations 

Interview: CAST Researcher Dr. Amanda Bastoni on Supporting Rural CTE Learners

November 21st, 2022

As part of ongoing blog topics aimed at supporting all learners in the realization of the national vision for the future of Career Technical Education (CTE), CTE Without Limits, Dr. Amanda Bastoni, Educational Research Scientist at CAST and Dr. Tunisha Hobson, State Policy Manager engaged in a discussion to highlight the importance of providing support for CTE learner success in rural areas. CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization, and Dr. Bastoni has conducted multiple research projects on rural learner access and engagement in STEM-focused programs. [Note: this interview has been edited for length and clarity].

Considering your wealth of experience in this area, how do you think states should approach learner access to CTE in rural areas? 

State leaders should create policies that support small rural employers’ participation in CTE. A quick way for states to support rural learners is through work-based Learning.  One example, in New Hampshire (RSA 188 –E: 9-a), employers of any size can be eligible for a tax credit against business profit taxes up to 50 percent for salaries of students and supervisors participating in work-based learning experiences and up to 100 percent for supplies and equipment donated for related use to an educational program offered by the regional CTE center when they make donations of time, money and goods for CTE centers.  

Learner access can also begin with large scale remote career day programs and intentional employer engagement in the local and broader communities. There is a rural community in Arizona that is conducting school-wide career days where the whole school engages with different employers in activities and conversations about the experiences of working in that field. 

Additionally, I think there is an opportunity to engage employers and industry partners in rural areas by preparing them for filling roles with learners. Many rural employers are willing to support work-based learning experiences, but there is a need to equip them with the right tools for success.  Equipping employers with tools describing the work-based learning continuum provides an opportunity for employer engagement from small sized companies to larger corporations in understanding the experiences that can be provided to learners in rural communities. 

What are some best practices states can use to support rural learners to access equitable opportunities in CTE? 

Equip educators through professional development: Communicating the complexities of rural learner experiences is reliant upon the messenger. The most well meaning practitioner may not understand the challenges rural learners encounter, so it is important to find research based professional development that encourages engagement for rural learners. Ultimately, teachers can leverage their community relationships to connect learners to additional resources and opportunities. 

Access CTE Without Borders while considering the digital divide: Using asset-based learning approaches to meet the needs of rural learners is important. State leaders should consider innovative approaches to realizing career pathway experiences. One example, simplistically, consider designing experiences where learners can leverage cell phones rather than laptops or computers they may not have access to. Additionally, consideration for STEM through outdoor recreation related career pathways and experiences invite rural learners to engage in CTE without borders. 

Build social capital for underrepresented rural learners, particularly for careers they do not see in their community: Family engagement and inclusion of learner voice is a foundational requirement for decision making and helping learners build their social capital. Policy makers and practitioners are critical to move the work forward, but the voices of learners will drive effective change in communities. Efforts to elevate learner voice can include sharing strategies, analyzing information, and developing solutions can not only help rural learners understand how social networks are being developed but also help build positive self-identity. 

Encourage and support virtual work-based learning experiences within the classroom: Embedding virtual work-based learning experiences in CTE coursework bolsters learner exposure to careers beyond their communities. Examples like BioFab Explorer from CAST, which aims to broaden the participation of underrepresented populations in rural communities in biofabrication and biomanufacturing, embeds a components of career guidance curriculum, including work-based learning simulations and activities that teachers can use to help students explore careers and develop and demonstrate industry skills, to dual enrollment opportunities. 

What guidance can help states remove barriers with postsecondary program persistence in rural areas?

Rural learners need access to transportation, childcare, and paid work-based learning experiences to support their families and encourage persistence in a career pathway. Offering paid apprenticeships and internships related to outdoor recreation through postsecondary programs are critical in rural areas.  According to research, many rural regions are currently experiencing declines in traditional resource-extractive industries such as mining and timber harvesting.

Like many “amenity/decline” regions, New Hampshire was significantly impacted by the loss of paper mills in the 1990s followed by the 2008 recession; however, the region has also seen steady growth in outdoor recreation. In 2020, outdoor recreation represented a higher percentage of New Hampshire’s GDP (2.6 percent) than the U.S. average (1.8 percent), ranking it 11th nationally (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2021). Similar rural states across the country are leveraging the outdoors as a significant positive asset for recreation and employment through legislation which creates opportunities in career pathways for learners. In 2021, New Hampshire joined 13 other states including Maine, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana, Virginia, and West Virginia, in committing to establish State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development (Confluence of States, 2018).

Additional Resources 

With Learners, Not for Learners: A Toolkit for for Elevating Learner Voice in CTE

CTE on the Frontier: Rural CTE Strategy Guide

Dr. Tunisha Hobson, State Policy Manager 

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About- Dr. Amanda Bastoni

Dr. Bastoni is a former CTE teacher and Director. While currently employed as an Educational Research Scientist at CAST, some of her research projects have included: 

  • Inclusion, Access, Equity and Diversity (IAED) National coordinator for ACTE
  • Principal Investigator on new National Science Foundation (NSF) iTEST Grant working with rural CTE teachers to investigate if drones can be used to increase access to STEM careers for middle school girls and rural learners.  
  • Principal Investigator on an NSF AISL feasibility Grant focused on understanding how asset-based approaches can be leveraged to increase rural learners’ engagement in STEM-based careers

Getting to Know the 2022- 2024 Advance CTE – ECMCF Fellows Part 2

November 17th, 2022

In September, Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation announced the second cohort of The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education (CTE) Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE—Sponsored by ECMC Foundation. The Advance CTE — ECMCF Fellows include representation across multiple demographic categories reflecting the Fellowship’s goal of intentionally building a postsecondary leadership pipeline for underserved populations in Career Technical Education (CTE)  that closes racial representation gaps and removes equity barriers to postsecondary leadership advancement.

This post continues our series to introduce each Fellow participating in the second cohort of emerging leaders from 14 states, including 12 professionals of color.

Kayla Brossett, Louisiana

Kayla Brossett has more than a decade of experience designing and managing strategic industry partnerships, with a specialty in workforce development, diversity, equity, inclusion, and student career services. Currently, she serves as the US Director of Employer Partnerships at the Wadhwani Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern State University and a master’s degree in communications from Grambling State University.

 

Jomarie Coloriano, Wisconsin 

Jomarie Coloriano’s professional experience is deeply influenced by her passion for social justice and systems reform. She has received multiple accolades for her work in diversity, equity, and inclusion and student support including being named the 2021 Gateway Technical College DEI Champion, the National Association of Student Personnel and the Administrators NOW 2020 Professional in Inclusion, Currently, she serves as a Multicultural Support Specialist at Gateway Technical College and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Protective and Human Services.  Jomarie is also a doctoral candidate in the Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service program at Cardinal Stritch University.

 

Yolanda Flores, Florida 

Yolanda Flores specializes in supporting and preparing refugee and migrant learner populations for secondary and postsecondary success. Her more than two decades of experience include an instructor, school administrator, grants coordinator, and special populations program administrator. Currently, she serves as Administrative Director for Postsecondary, Adult & Community Education for Collier County Public Schools. Flores earned a bachelor’s degree in social science education from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.

 

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate 

Legislative Update: Control of Congress Still Uncertain

November 10th, 2022

This week Americans across the country went to the polls to decide the balance of power for the upcoming 118th Congress. While the final results are still a few days away, all attention on Capitol Hill is focused on the outcomes of these electoral contests.  

Midterm Election Results Remain Close

On Tuesday, November 8th, the long-anticipated midterm elections were held across the nation. The results from these elections are still becoming clear, with the winners of many elections in the House, Senate, and elsewhere likely to be announced over the coming days and potentially weeks ahead. These announcements will determine the balance of power for the upcoming 118th Congress set to begin early next year.

At present, the Republican Party appears to be poised to take control of the House of Representatives. However, the party has dramatically underperformed early predictions regarding their electoral performance. While many races in the House are still undetermined, it is becoming more likely that a narrow margin of control of the lower legislative chamber will be the most likely end result.

In the Senate, four races remain undecided at the time of this writing—Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, and Nevada. The outcome of these elections will determine control of the Senate and each race remains contested at present. Alaska’s Senate race will not impact the control of the upper legislative chamber, given it pits two Republicans against one another, but the outcomes of the remaining three will decide whether Democrats retain control of the chamber or if Republicans will regain the majority. . Results from Arizona and Nevada—expected in the coming days— will likely determine the stakes of a runoff election in Georgia, now set to take place in early December.

Advance CTE will continue to monitor these electoral contests and will share further analysis as the results– along with their implications for the CTE and workforce development policy in the 118th Congress– become clearer.  Advance CTE will host a webinar on November 17 with JFF and New Skills Coalition to discuss the impact of the midterm election on the field and federal policy priorities. 

CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Introduce Cybersecurity Proposal

Last week, House Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucus co-chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) introduced the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act (H.R. 9259). This legislation was introduced in the context of Cybersecurity Awareness Month which aims to highlight the importance of protecting, hardening and securing the nation’s digital infrastructure from unwanted and malicious cyber activity. If enacted, the legislation would create a new $10 million competitive grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). These grants would provide funding to eligible CTE programs that integrate cybersecurity into aspects of their curriculum. More about this bipartisan legislative proposal can be found here

Department of Commerce Releases Strategy for CHIPS Implementation

Over the summer, President Biden signed the bipartisan Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act of 2022 (P.L. 117-167). This legislation was passed to enhance the nation’s advanced manufacturing capacity, particularly regarding the production of semiconductor chips needed in many electronics and related components. The legislation also created several new grant programs aimed at preparing students to enter into STEM and computer science fields. In addition, the law created a $50 billion “CHIPS For America” fund, administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce which, in part, provides new subsidies to semiconductor manufacturers and designers. This fund has four interrelated strategic goals including to, “grow a diverse semiconductor workforce and build strong communities that participate in the prosperity of the semiconductor industry.” The strategy goes on to highlight its anticipated efforts to engage with regional manufacturing and develop stronger public-private partnerships  to provide new and expand existing training programs that can benefit the semiconductor and related industries. Read the full strategy here

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

 

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