Posts Tagged ‘business and industry partnerships’

The Top 5 Policy Trends in Connected to Career Technical Education in 2023

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

February marks the release of the 2023 Year In Review, the 11th edition of this comprehensive report developed by Advance CTE in collaboration with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Dedicated to providing a thorough overview of state Career Technical Education (CTE) policies, this report is valuable for state and local administrators and practitioners to better understand national trends and specific policy actions taken by individual state legislatures in 2023. 

The policy tracking conducted for 2023 Year In Review totaled 115 policies implemented in 47 states. The report highlights innovative and practical legislation and emphasizes common policy themes. Notably, clean and renewable energy emerges as a prominent focus among policymakers, reflecting the emerging workforce demands of this sector while highlighting the dynamic landscape of CTE. Building upon the legacy of previous reports, the 2023 Year In Review offers insights into the top five policy areas in 2023: 

“Industry Partnerships and Work-Based Learning” was the predominant policy category in 2023, with 48 policies enacted under this topic. This category first took the top spot last year after multiple years of the funding category being the most popular. Many policies in this category focused on engaging industry to drive student learning that addresses workforce needs. The following policies illustrate strategies that address labor shortage by fostering industry engagement and enhancing the learner experience through work-based learning opportunities:

Arkansas

S.B. 294 mandates the Division of Elementary and Secondary to establish career-ready pathways for high school diplomas. These pathways include rigorous academic courses and modern career and technical studies aligned with labor market needs, leading to industry credentials. These initiatives address labor shortages by ensuring that students are equipped with skills that meet industry demands through practical work-based learning experiences, thereby bridging the gap between education and employment. 

Maryland 

S.B. 104 creates the Apprenticeship 2030 Commission to expand registered apprenticeships in sectors with skill shortages. The goal is to increase registered apprenticeships to 60,000 by 2030 and have 45% of high school graduates complete high school-level apprenticeships. By fostering apprenticeships, the policy aims to provide career pathways for young people while addressing industry needs through hands-on training and mentorship, thereby reducing skills shortages. 

Vermont 

H.B. 452 establishes the Vermont Registered Apprenticeship Program to regulate apprenticeship programs aligned with industry demand. This program oversees apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship initiatives. The policy directly addresses labor shortages through structured apprenticeship programs by preparing individuals with the specific skills demanded by industries, ensuring a better alignment between workforce supply and industry demand.

For a comprehensive exploration of the policies enacted this year, Advance CTE offers an accompanying online tracker. This tool empowers users to search and filter for specific legislation, providing a more in-depth understanding of the enacted policies.

The 2023 Year In Review strives to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on CTE, showcasing successful strategies, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders in the field. CTE leaders are encouraged to utilize the tracker and state highlights in their respective states and communities for more strategies to implement potentially innovative policies. 

Velie Sando, Policy Associate

As a Policy Associate, Velie conducts research and develops resources to support Advance CTE’s state policy initiatives, including the New Skills ready network, the annual Year in Review, and the Green Workforce.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy
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Enhanced Collaboration Towards Implementation of High-Quality Career Pathways in Year Three of the New Skills ready network

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group (ESG) recently released an annual report and site snapshots for year three of the New Skills ready network initiative. The five-year initiative, part of JPMorgan Chase’s $350 million global New Skills at Work program and $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity, aims to improve student completion of high-quality, equitable career pathways to gain skills needed for the future of work, particularly among learners of color and other historically marginalized learners. 

As a partner in the New Skills ready network initiative, Advance CTE elevates the successes and lessons learned across the six sites as they work towards the implementation of high-quality, equitable career pathways. Over the course of the three years of the initiative, sites have made significant progress in the development and implementation of career pathways from defining the core elements of high-quality career pathways to improving the access and equity of high-quality career pathways. The policy and programmatic changes adopted across the six sites in the initiative are promising approaches and strategies that can be leveraged in other states and areas to enhance the design, delivery and implementation of high-quality, equitable career pathways.

Throughout year three of the New Skills ready network initiative, several key priorities emerged as trends for the six sites:

Across each key priority area, sites have leveraged cross-sector networks and partnerships to deploy promising practices that support their sites with the successful development and implementation of high-quality career pathways that meet the needs of learners and industry. Examples of achievement across the sites include the Columbus, Ohio, site leveraging an employer toolkit, created by the Ohio Department of Education, to help industry partners better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with work-based learning. 

The Indianapolis, Indiana, site expanded learner access to college and career advising by developing resources and supports for learners and finalizing frameworks that align career advising practices. For example, postsecondary partners published program maps for learners participating in agreements between Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Ivy Tech Community College. 

The Nashville, Tennessee, team has supported increased access to career pathways in HVAC and IT by engaging postsecondary partners like the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville (TCAT-Nashville). The engagement with TCAT-Nashville has increased learner participation and interest in dual enrollment, and the site now has more than 300 learners enrolled in these opportunities.

Sites like Boston, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas, are expanding access to career exploration, advising and high-quality career pathways opportunities to middle grades learners. In year three, the Boston, Massachusetts, team expanded the rollout of their My Career and Academic Plan to middle grades learners to better prepare learners for career pathways, dual enrollment and early college experiences. The Dallas, Texas, team is currently designing a cybersecurity career pathway that will connect all partner institutions with learners and provide lab experiences at the University of North Texas – Dallas. Learners in Dallas, Texas, will be exposed to this high-wage, high-demand career pathway as early as middle school with opportunities to earn credentials. 

Project team partners in Denver, Colorado, are improving the learner experience when transitioning from secondary to postsecondary institutions. In year three, the site lead, The Attainment Network, supported secondary and postsecondary institutions with solutions to longstanding challenges in learner transitions including lack of data sharing, erroneous dual enrollment rosters and incorrect schedules for learners. The institutions are now leveraging IT automation to ensure each institution has access to timely information on learners’ schedules, enrollments and more. 

In addition to diving more into the aforementioned exciting developments, the site snapshots and year three annual report preview the work for year four in the New Skills ready network initiative. Each site has ambitious goals for year four including exploring new pathways sectors, engaging families and learners in the design and implementation of career pathways, sustaining and scaling career pathways as sites near year five of the initiative and more. 

Visit Advance CTE’s New Skills ready network series page to read the full annual report and a snapshot of each site’s innovative partnerships and early accomplishments across the four project priorities. Our New Skills ready network collection page provides additional resources for strengthening career pathways.

Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Publications
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Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, Lincoln Electric – Industry Certifications: Joining Industry and Education Together

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

There is a welding skills gap, and that could actually mean a couple different things: It could mean there simply are not enough skilled welders to fill the welding careers available, or it could mean there is a disconnect between the skills employers are looking for and the skills applicants actually have. Either way, this gap existing is a real problem in the welding industry today—for both employers and job-seeking welders. 

If the problem is that trained welders do not have the specific skills employers are looking for, then the solution is to examine welding education and find a way to bridge the gap. Educational institutions communicate with the welding industry to understand which skills their students actually need for today’s jobs. Because the industry is constantly changing, the needed skills are constantly changing—which means that this communication between education and industry must be ongoing.

Because Lincoln Electric is heavily involved in both industry and welding education, communication is constantly maintained between the two to improve curriculum and training as the industry evolves. From this, the Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS) welding program was created.

The LEEPS welding certification program is a partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), which provides curriculum and learning management resources for students and welders to earn standards-based certifications. These certifications are portable and stackable, which means welders can build their own skill base for specific job requirements by combining the skills and certifications they need for immediate employability.

The LEEPS program creates standardization with the train-the-trainer program. All instructors who teach and certify welding students through a partner school have been through the same training, taken the same tests, and used the same curriculum materials. That means employers can see these certifications and know anyone who earned them was taught the same content in the same way and has passed the same weld tests with the same grading rubric. This kind of consistency helps welders to have documented, proven competencies to show employers; and employers know they can expect this consistency from an institution with a standardized process.

Because this program offers a way to integrate certifications into an existing educational institution, it doesn’t limit students or employers to one area. With a traditional welding school, students all train at a single location and are likely to seek jobs in the same general area. With a program like LEEPS, the same quality welding education is available all over the country, so it’s more accessible to students and employers alike. This means employers can find job applicants in their area with the same qualifications as the job seekers in many states across the U.S. Employers can even set up their own internal training with LEEPS to put their welders on the fast track to certification in the specific areas that are needed in their workplace.

There’s a skills gap in the welding industry, but we can set up our welding education programs to help fix it. With standardized, configurable training, today’s welders can complete valuable certifications in a way that’s both convenient and relevant to the available jobs. By joining industry and education in communication, curriculum can be tailored to meet the needs of both welders and employers in today’s job market.

For more information about our education programs, please visit the Education Solutions section of our website.

Sarah Evans, Education Sales and Marketing Manager, Lincoln Electric 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, Home Builders Institute

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

A severe lack of skilled workers and an aging workforce threaten to slow new home production, curb housing affordability, and derail the industry’s ability to stand strong amid rising recession risks to the overall economy. In fact, the construction industry needs to add 2.2 million workers over the next three years to keep up with housing demand, according to a recent report from the Home Builders Institute (HBI), a workforce development nonprofit that works closely with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

Changing social and economic factors are driving a renewed focus on Career Technical Eeducation (CTE) among educators, policymakers, students and their families. Shifting the narrative about Career Clusters® supporting architecture & construction is an important way to capture the interest of young students and their parents. Schools can offer more technical training that exposes students to the potential of many exciting post-graduation architecture & construction career opportunities that don’t result in student debt.   

With nearly 400 programs in 46 states, HBI’s industry-recognized curriculum is preparing the next generation of skilled workers through pre-apprenticeship training and certification programs in secondary schools, community colleges, military bases, Job Corps centers and training academies. These programs are providing students with no-cost training that leads to well-paying jobs and careers in the home building industry. 

Half of construction workers earn more than $49,000 annually with the top 25 percent% making more than $75,000. This eclipses the U.S. median wage of $45,760 and the top quartile making just $68,590. In addition, the industry is one of the few where women and men earn nearly equal pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus all other occupations where women make just 81.5 percent% of what men earn. 

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advocates for local, state and federal support of industry-sponsored programs — such as HBI’s —that are successful, cost-effective means of providing skills training and job placement to individuals who can comprise a robust pipeline of trade professionals. Producing more and better workers strengthens families, communities, and the U.S. economy. 

Working with HBI, state CTE leaders can access industry-recognized curriculum and certifications that will provide middle and high school students throughout their state with more opportunities to pursue a stable and successful career path. State leaders can also leverage NAHB’s network of 700 local and state home builders associations. These local  associations comprise building industry leaders from all facets of the construction industry eager to provide mentorship, networking, program support and job opportunities to eligible students. 

There is no single answer to solving the labor gap issue, but working together, NAHB, HBI and State Directors can prepare students for meaningful careers in building that will result in increased housing availability and affordability for American families.

For more information on HBI’s curriculum, visit hbi.org.  To learn more about NAHB’s workforce development efforts, visit nahb.org/workforce.  

Ed Brady, President and CEO, HBI

 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Three Days, Limitless Wisdom: Looking back on our June Meeting Series

Thursday, June 30th, 2022


Over the course of three Wednesdays this month, we hosted our virtual June Meeting Series. Hundreds of Career Technical Education leaders from coast to coast tuned in for afternoon-long conversations focused on the themes
Equip (June 8), Empower (June 15) and Elevate (June 22). Here are the best quotes from our speakers, which synthesize the power of this professional learning series and the impact of our collective work!  

“(We are in) a game of influence. I can’t tell an employer what to do … and I can’t tell my school district, or city, or county what to do. This is all about making the case for change through data management and influence through relationships.” – Drexell Owusu, Chief Impact Officer, Dallas Foundation

“In the 1980s, we heard a lot about diversity. We still have a challenge there. But we realized it’s not simply getting folks around the table or in the classroom. It’s also ensuring that those who are there are fully engaged, are welcomed and have the opportunity to use all their skills and talents.” – Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Advance CTE Equity Coach

“We quickly realized that we need to bring people to help speak to students in a way they understand and connect with. That’s part of the shifting that industry and adapting that we had to do to make. We had to personalize the experience for the students.” – Gabe Madison, Thomson Reuters Director of Community Relations

“When a student graduates high school, the trail shouldn’t end. Right now you have to cut down trees and jump over a rock to get to the next trail [to college and career]. We need to [design systems] so that students don’t get lost along the way.” – Spencer Sherman, Chief Innovation Officer, Rhode Island Department of Education

“I want to applaud you for your efforts and affirm the work you’re doing. I want to remind you to work hard and take things one bite at a time. Do not lose faith and know that what you are doing is going to make a difference, even if you don’t see a return on investment right away” – Dr. China Wilson, Maryland Equity and Civil Rights Specialist

“Media is looking for good stories, and I can’t think of another time where CTE has the ability to enhance a number of fundamental aspects of education and change what it can look like. Be prepared to shine!” – Teresa Valerio Parrot, Principal of TVP Communications

“Be positive when sharing your work! Media and families want to know the value-add of CTE. Have success stories and contacts on hand to support the state context and impact.” – Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director, Advance CTE

“Real stories are worth repeating. CTE is really an American story which exists all around us!” – Derricke Dennis, Anchor and National Correspondent for ABC News

“We need our data to say to learners that no matter where you are in your career journey, there’s a place for you.” – Josie Brunner, Data Strategist in the College, Career and Military Preparation Division at the Texas Education Agency

If you registered for the series, don’t forget you can watch recordings from all sessions through July 30 by visiting www.cteworks.org and using the event password you were provided. If you were not able to join us for the June Meeting Series, attend one of our upcoming online events and our in-person Fall Meeting in October (details to be announced soon)!

Steve McFarland, Director of Communications and Membership

 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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Elevating the Story of Career Technical Education: June Meeting Series Day 3 Highlights

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

On June 22, Advance CTE hosted the third and final event in its three-part June Meeting Series. The day focused on the theme of “Elevate,” and offered knowledge about raising the profile of Career Technical Education (CTE), so that key stakeholders and the public support and engage with the field. 

The opening keynote session, “Breaking Through: Making CTE Resonate in a Noisy World,” was built around the fact that Americans are bombarded with thousands of messages a day, from advertising to social media to the news. That makes it difficult to build awareness of and support for CTE. The session provided insights on how to break through, by becoming expert storytellers, sharpening messaging and speaking directly to the issues that matter most. Panelists included Teresa Valerio Parrot, Principal of TVP Communications; Leslie Slaughter, Executive Advisor to the Office of Career & Technical Education, Kentucky Department of Education; and Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director of Advance CTE. 

Two key quotes from the panel included: 

The keynote session was followed by content-rich breakouts and discussions to build connections and knowledge. Each breakout session was aligned to one of the five foundational commitments of CTE Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Breakout highlights included:

“Quality: Maximizing Limited Time for Media Relations” elevated efficient methods to start and sustain meaningful relationships with local and regional media. Expert panelists included national reporters Derricke Dennis, Anchor and National Correspondent for ABC News, and Rebecca Koenig, Editor for EdSurge. Both encouraged attendees to understand the demands on journalists, and be mindful of their workflows when pitching stories.

“People are writing about education and others are writing about the workforce,” Koenig said, “but there is an opportunity to meet in the middle to tell stories about CTE.”

One practical tip Dennis offered: “Start your email subject line with the words ‘STORY IDEA.’” Something that simple can make him jump right to the email. 

He continued, “Real stories are worth repeating. CTE is really an American story which exists all around us!”

In “Systems Alignment: A View From the Hill: A Federal Policy Update,” attendees heard from an expert panel consisting of Advance CTE’s Policy Advisor, Steve Voytek, Dr. Alisha Hyslop of ACTE and José Miranda of the Associate of Community College Trustees. Topics ranged from current priorities in Congress to the midterm elections. 

Two key takeaways from the session included the effort to l extend Pell Grant eligibility to short-term workforce training programs is moving through Congress and there is likely to be an increase in the Perkins Basic State Grant funding.

In the breakout “Equity: Student Voices: What Clicks with Me,” secondary and postsecondary CTE learners shared how they learned about CTE, what it felt like/feels like to be a CTE learner, and barriers to full program participation and success. Panelists included Technology Student Association President Gowri Rangu, 2021-2022 Future Farmers of America Utah state officer Kenadee Stubbs and CTE alumni Kendall Brown from Alabama and Faith Lanzillo from New Hampshire. 

The panelists talked about overcoming the obstacles they faced and envisioned what we can do, as state leaders, to diversify and strengthen CTE enrollment.

The panelists agreed that mentorship is essential: they were able to see themselves in career paths through diverse ambassadors, learners and professionals, who helped them choose and stay on a career path. Some shared the obstacles they had to overcome, such as lengthy application processes and difficulty changing programs, but all expressed gratitude for having found a path to a fulfilling and rewarding career. 

“Public-Private Partnerships: Centering Equity to Address Our Talent Pipeline Shortages” focused on how industry needs to think differently about how they attract, hire and retain talent. Bridgette Gray and Kate Naranjo, leaders from Opportunity@Work, an organization committed to changing hiring practices across the nation, provided expert insights. Opportunity@Work is a strong advocate for  more skills-based hiring practices, a policy construct advocated for in CTE Without Limits. These practices have the benefit of broadening and diversifying the talent pool for the private and public sectors. Recently, the state of Maryland adopted a skills-based hiring strategy and can be a key tool to ensure a more equitable and diverse workforce. 

Skill-based hiring promotes hiring based on demonstrated competencies, lived experiences and credentials. Some years ago Advance CTE shifted its language in position description to allow for lived experience equivalency when assessing new candidates and position announcements do not generally list degree requirements. 

“Communicating With Data to Drive Policy and Practices and Inform Stakeholders” rounded out the breakout offerings. The session focused on the story CTE administrators are able to tell with data, which can invoke a sense of urgency in addressing the needs of learners and the economic ecosystem. Panelists included Josie Brunner, Data Strategist in the College, Career and Military Preparation Division at the Texas Education Agency; Scott U’Sellis, Data Manager at the Kentucky Office of Career and Technical Education; and Brennan McMahon Parton, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign. 

“The average person is not going to go looking for nine different tools,” U’Sellis said. “You need one tool that gives them the answer they want. Ask people, is this interesting data to you, does this help you find what you really want to know?”

Brunner boldly asserted that the storytelling power of data is full of potential: “We need our data to say to learners that no matter where you are in your career journey, there’s a place for you,” she said. 

Taking a step back, the panelists agreed that there is always a human element to the data, and that’s what can make storytelling so powerful. When looking at data, they noted that it’s easy to forget that data points represent whole people who are so much more than the data that represent them.

Further learning ahead

More than 200 people from across the country tuned in to the three-part June Meeting Series. The event will be complemented by Advance CTE’s Virtual Learning Series, a year-round webinar sequence for the general public and members. We also recently announced our first large in-person gathering since the pandemic started, our Fall Meeting, which will take place in October 2022 (more details coming soon)! 

Steve McFarland, Director of Communications and Membership

By Stacy Whitehouse in Uncategorized
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Early innovations and lessons emerge in Year Two New Skills ready network Annual Report and Site Snapshots

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Today, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group (ESG) released an annual report and site snapshots for year two of the New Skills ready network initiative. The five-year initiative, part of JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s $350 million global New Skills at Work program and $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity, aims to improve student completion of high-quality, equitable career pathways to gain skills needed for the future of work, particularly among learners of color and other historically marginalized learners. 

The New Skills ready network focuses on six domestic sites as illustrated in the graphic below. As a partner in this initiative, Advance CTE strives to elevate the role of state capacity and resources in advancing project priorities. Additionally, we have gained a unique perspective on promising practices to strengthen state-local partnerships across the country. 

Looking across each of the snapshots, key priorities emerged as trends for the six sites. 

First, many sites continued or finalized the mapping and analysis of career pathways to determine alignment and quality across learner levels. Indianapolis, Indiana, for example, completed their process that was started in year one of evaluating their career pathways against a criteria review tool, which examined access for non-traditional populations, credential attainment, course sequencing, and connection to labor market information, among other criteria. The review also aligned the pathways with the state’s Next Level Programs of Study (NLPS), statewide course sequences which aim to improve consistency, quality, and intentionality of CTE instruction throughout Indiana.

Career advising initiatives were also a major theme for sites in year two, as sites considered how to expand support for learners through a career journey. The Nashville, Tennessee, team prioritized aligned career advising from middle school through postsecondary, with the goal of expanding individualized support. This work, built upon a college and career advising framework developed in year one, was implemented by College and Career Readiness Coaches embedded in select Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Boston, Massachusetts, set expansion of work-based learning as a key focus for year two, as multiple sites discussed how to align work-based learning efforts across learner levels and open more apprenticeship and virtual learning opportunities. The Boston Private Industry Council, the Workforce Investment Board and Boston Public Schools collaborated to ensure a shared commitment to work-based learning and strengthen data collection efforts surrounding participation in work-based learning. Other sites established common definitions of work-based learning to ensure that all partners were consistent in discussions about access.

The snapshots also previewed work for year three of the initiative, as each site recently participated in action planning processes that informed future work. Each site has ambitious goals for year three, largely informed by lessons learned in preceding years. Some sites, like Columbus, Ohio, are continuing communications and messaging work supported by learner-tested messages that seek to inform learners about available career pathways supports and opportunities. Other sites, like Denver, Colorado, are continuing data collection and analysis efforts, finalizing data frameworks, and aligning data systems across institutions. Finally, some sites such as Dallas, Texas, are aligning their efforts with other initiatives in their cities and ensuring that all partners can equitably support learners citywide. 

Visit Advance CTE’s New Skills ready network series page to read the full annual report and a snapshot of each site’s innovative partnerships and early accomplishments across the four project priorities. Our New Skills ready network collection page provides additional resources for strengthening career pathways.

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Resources
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This Week in CTE: SkillsUSA Creating a CTE Without Limits

Friday, February 11th, 2022

While stakeholders across the Career Technical Education (CTE) continuum celebrate CTE Month®, Advance CTE will join in the celebration by uplifting Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) student leaders and their national advocacy weeks. 

These organizations are a powerful model for learner-centered and learner-led education, and Advance CTE is pleased to be joined by seven national CTSOs in supporting the national vision for CTE. Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) places CTE as the catalyst for achieving a cohesive career preparation ecosystem that is responsive to each learner’s needs for college and career success. 

Throughout February, the This Week in CTE blog series will highlight the activities of several CTSOs and their alignment with the five interconnected principles of CTE Without Limits. Today, we highlight National SkillsUSA, who celebrated their national week February 7-11, 2022, with the theme “United as One” and social hashtag #SkillsUSAWeek.

 

Each learner engages in a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem

On Recognition Day, SkillsUSA took to social media to recognize and honor members, advisors, administrators, business partners, community leaders and supporters who are impactful in the career preparation ecosystem and within their local SkillsUSA chapters. Honorees were presented with a SkillsUSA Certificate of Appreciation.

Each learner feels welcome in, is supported by and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem

On Advocacy Day, National SkillsUSA officers advocated for policies that are inclusive of CTE and career readiness opportunities for all learners at the U.S. Department of Education. 

Complementing national advocacy efforts by the CTSO, many SkillsUSA state associations hosted their own CTE Days on Capitol Hill, as seen by SkillsUSA Iowa.

Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

In California, Dinuba High School’s SkillsUSA Advisor Nikki Gerner is highlighted for keeping real-world skill building at the core of her instruction for learners. During the 2021 school year, despite the challenges of remote learning, membership at Dinuba increased from 150 to more than 450 active members. New chapter members gained access to the SkillsUSA Framework to make informed decisions while navigating the career preparation ecosystem. 

View this video to learn more about Gerner and her impact on the learners she teaches. 

Each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable

On Partner Day, National SkillsUSA asked state associations and local chapters to connect with partners in their communities. National SkillsUSA hosted a live interactive session for CTSO members to engage with business and industry leaders. Learners were able to hear what it means to be workforce ready and which skills are valued by employers that ultimately lead to career success in their respective industries.

Each learner can access CTE without borders

National SkillsUSA has a free and accessible podcast for chapter members across the nation. The SkillsUSA podcast focuses on delivering basic “how to” information for learners to be successful at skills competitions. View more on the podcast here

Visit Advance CTE’s vision page for communication and implementation tools for state and local CTE leaders to bring CTE Without Limits to life. 

If you would like to share how your CTE program or CTSO creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media

 

 

By admin in Uncategorized
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State Policies Impacting Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

Thursday, February 10th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

Policies that address the engagement of industry to drive student learning through work-based learning or other means are categorized by this topic. Twenty-three states enacted 36 policies that addressed industry partnerships and work-based learning. Below are a few state policy actions aligned to industry-recognized credentials:

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

By admin in Publications
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New Advance CTE Research Provides Key Insights to Expand Employer Partnerships

Thursday, 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 

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

By admin in Advance CTE Resources, Communicating CTE, Research
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