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Harnessing the Power of CTE

Career and technical education (CTE) plays an important role in helping students explore a variety of career opportunities and acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workforce. That’s why, across the country, education leaders are looking for new ways to harness the power of CTE to help put more students on a pathway to success.

  • A school in Fresno, California, expanded its CTE program to provide students with education and hands-on experience in banking and financial services.
  • In classrooms across the Chicago metropolitan area, students have access to CTE programs that help them plan for the future and provide experience in fields such as television production, business programming, and aviation.
  • Recognizing the importance of CTE, an Illinois community college held a “CTE Experience” to highlight the CTE programs the college offers and to help students understand how CTE can help them pursue successful careers. 
  • State leaders in Oregon recently invested in new CTE programs, including manufacturing and agribusiness, to help more students gain the skills they need for the future.
  • Members of the Kansas State Board of Education discussed new opportunities in the state for students to explore different careers and future plans to improve state CTE programs.

  • The Tennessee Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education heard success stories from educators and employers who detailed how CTE is opening students’ eyes to opportunities in manufacturing, a key part of the local workforce.
  • Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor saw firsthand the important role CTE plays in preparing students with the “academic and work skills needed after high school” and “developing well-trained kids to receive jobs that pay.”
  • One Arkansas community is planning to build a CTE center to provide “21st-century, workforce education programs” to students in seven school districts and help meet the workforce needs of local businesses.

As these and other state and local leaders work to improve CTE programs across the country, Congress is working to ensure they are better able to help students compete and succeed in today's workforce. In September, the House passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587). Introduced by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA), this bipartisan legislation includes positive reforms to empower state and local leaders, improve alignment with in-demand jobs, and increase transparency and accountability. These and other bipartisan reforms will empower more communities to harness the power of CTE and help more students achieve a lifetime of success.