Perkins V: How can the comprehensive local needs assessment drive improvement?

One of the most significant changes introduced in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is the new comprehensive local needs assessment (CLNA). This new process involves a wide group of stakeholders reviewing a number of elements, including student performance data, progress toward implementation of CTE programs and programs of study and more. It must be completed by local recipients of Perkins funds at the beginning of the grant period and then updated at least once every two years. Importantly, the CLNA brings an incredible opportunity to:

  • Make certain that programs and programs of study are aligned to and validated by local workforce needs and economic priorities;
  • Ensure that local Perkins eligible recipients are serving each learner equitably;
  • Enable eligible recipients to better direct resources towards programs and programs of study that lead to high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations and activities that address equity and opportunity gaps;
  • Create a platform for coordinating and streamlining existing program review and school improvement processes to bring focus to strategic decisions; and
  • Provide a structured way to engage key stakeholders regularly around the quality and impact of local CTE programs and systems.

How can state and local CTE leaders ensure that the comprehensive local needs assessment drives improvement? Check out the guides below to learn more.

GUIDE: A Guide for State Leaders: Maximizing Perkins V’s Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment & Local Application to Drive Quality and Equity in CTE (Word and PDF): This guide from Advance CTE provides a summary, analysis and guidance for each major component of the comprehensive local needs assessment and the decisions states can be making now to support a robust CLNA process that aligns with the state’s overall vision for CTE.

GUIDE: A Guide for Local Leaders: Maximizing Perkins V’s Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment & Local Application to Drive Equality in CTE (PDF): This guide from ACTE provides an overview and and guidance for the comprehensive local needs assessment so that local leaders can utilize it as a tool for program improvement.


Advance CTE just launched a Shared Solutions Workgroup focused on the new CLNA. This workgroup will bring together state and national leaders to develop thoughtful and forward-looking resources (to be shared this summer/fall) that respond to the challenges and opportunities of CLNA in Perkins V.

Looking for resources on other topics? Please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

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