Recap of CTE Forward: A Summit on CTE’s Impact & Promise

Last month, Advance CTE and nine organizations representing education, workforce and employers hosted CTE Forward: A Summit on CTE’s Impact and Promise. The virtual event spanned two days and brought together nearly 200 leaders representing the Career Technical Education (CTE) continuum to collaborate, reimagine and contribute to a bold vision for CTE. 

The CTE Forward Summit built on Advance CTE’s previous national Summits – held every five years – and will lead to the development of a shared vision for CTE. This vision, which must be both daring and measurable, will serve as the “true north” for the CTE community and its key partners in the coming years as we work to raise the quality of CTE pathways, ensure each learner has access to and the supports needed to be successful in those pathways and provide economic opportunity for everyone.

To kick off the event, participants were asked to examine the many disruptions impacting all aspects of the nation’s systems today – from the economy to technology to the education system – unpacking the innovations that can and should be generated from disruptive forces impacting our society and CTE.

Participants also discussed the foundational commitments, or the non-negotiable elements of high-quality and equitable CTE that are essential to meeting the needs of learners and employers and supporting our nation’s continued economic vitality, competitiveness and growth in the future.

As sessions built on each other over the two days, the group discussed desired outcomes where they visualized a stronger, more responsive and more equitable CTE system and began to lay out a roadmap to build that system. These forward-looking, bold and daring ideas gathered during those sessions will define CTE’s impact and promise in the future.

“We have to look at things from a systems perspective, recognizing that the systems have been set up to get the outcomes they get. If we want different outcomes, then the systems have to be reimagined.”

“That CTE means more than just Perkins and Perkins funding.”

“Everyone is ready for a true system transformation.”

“This is the way we’ve always done it, well we shouldn’t do it this way anymore.”

Our Partners

We were incredibly thankful for the amazing participation from not only the Summit contributors but also from our co-convenors: 

  • Association for Career and Technical Education 
  • Council of Chief State School Officers 
  • National Association of State Boards of Education 
  • National Association of State Workforce Agencies 
  • National Conference of State Legislatures 
  • National Governors Association 
  • National Skills Coalition 
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers 
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

This also wouldn’t have been possible without support from the Summit Sponsors

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 
  • Siemens Foundation 
  • ECMC Foundation 
  • Strada Education Network 
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. 
  • Lumina Foundation 

You can hear about why they chose to support the CTE Forward Summit in the short videos linked above. 

Next Steps

Over the coming months, Advance CTE, with input from the co-conveners, will develop a vision for CTE and release it in Spring 2021. This vision will be used by state leaders to continue to ensure that no matter what the country looks like now and in the future, CTE remains high quality, forward-focused, and equitable so that each and every learner has the opportunity for career success. 

Katie Fitzgerald, Director of Communications and Membership

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