Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 11, 2022

Career and Technical Education Month encourages success

The HBAGC recognizes February as Career and Technical Education Month and takes this occasion to celebrate the achievements of CTE both locally and nationally.

CTE is education that prepares students for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand careers. It includes many different types of education, from classroom learning, to certification programs, to work-based and apprenticeship opportunities outside the classroom.

CTE plays a vital role in the future of our workforce and impacts the local and national economy by training current and future employees.

Highlighting CTE is more important now than ever due to ongoing labor shortages across multiple industries – including building and manufacturing.

Part of the labor shortage is due to a gap in skill level. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, 56% of jobs in Tennessee require specific skills training, but only 49% of Tennessee workers are trained at the needed level.

Thankfully, many Tennessee students are currently enrolled in CTE programs and developing technical skills and engaging in work-based experiences with local industry partners.

During the 2019-20 school year, Tennessee had 176,923 secondary CTE participants and 39,872 postsecondary (adult) CTE participants.

The youth and adult learners in CTE programs have a 98% graduation rate compared to a 90% graduation rate of non-CTE peers. Additionally, they earn industry-recognized credentials and gain rewarding and family-sustaining careers.

More funds are needed to scale CTE programs across Tennessee to ensure all learners, including historically underserved learners, have access to high-quality CTE programs for in-demand career fields.

This funding could come in part from Gov. Bill Lee’s $25.5 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes over $500 million to increase opportunities for career and technical education for students throughout the state.

“The future of innovative programs to boost student readiness is now brighter than ever,” says Dr. Jean Luna, chief of student readiness at the Tennessee Department of Education. «Through reimagining the high school experience, expanding access to courses and engaging younger students in career exploration, we will continue to build our pipeline and keep our state›s workforce strong.»

For more information on CTE and to learn ways you can help spread awareness for CTE Month, visit www.acteonline.org. You can contact us at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at 423 624-9992.