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Schools Look to Expand Career and Technical Education
posted by: Ruthie | February 10, 2014, 10:55 PM   

According to a recent survey by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 42% of jobs in manufacturing will soon require some post secondary training or degree.  Despite this new reality, national data from 1990 to 2009 reveals a consistent decline in the average number of career and technical education (CTE) credits earned.

Experts assert that the decline is largely due to high schools discounting careers in manufacturing and technical education as viable employment options in the new information age. This new report suggests that recommitting to CTE is paramount for schools who hope to prepare students for a wide array of career opportunities.

A major shift must occur in the educators view career-tech. "People still perceive career-tech to be what they think of from 20 or 30 years ago,"
asserted Steve DeWitt, the deputy executive director for public policy at the Association for Career and Technical Education.

According to the data, manufacturing jobs are increasingly high-tech, and skill-based.  "As jobs in manufacturing, even at the entry level, get advanced, you need more advanced skills to be successful," said Chris Scherer, the executive director of the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

On the federal level, President Obama is
proposing a new $1 billion competitive fund over three years to increase the number of high-quality career academies, including CTE. These career academies will supply students with the skills they need to contribute to a competitive workforce, improve student achievement and reduce drop-out rates.

Similarly, Alabama’s $50 million bond to fund CTE with a mixture of grant and block funding, Kansas’ funds for students to earn dual-enrollment credits for CTE classes, and New York’s investment in the “P-tech” or “pathways to technology” model provide examples of how states can renew their commitment to manufacturing jobs.

How does your school support career, technical or manufacturing education?
Comment below.





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