CTE Caucus Hosts CTE 101 Briefing
Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, hosted a briefing today entitled “CTE 101: The Nuts & Bolts of Establishing a Qualified Workforce.”
The briefing, which took place in the Rayburn House Office Building, featured panelists:
- Steve DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, Alliance for Career and Technical Education
- Kim Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium
- Sasha Pudelski, Government Affairs Manager, American Association of School Administrators
Career and Technical Education is a tried and true solution for creating jobs, retraining workers, and ensuring that students of all ages are career- and college-ready. According to the most recent data from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, approximately 12 million students participated in secondary and postsecondary CTE programs during the 2010-2011 school year. In every congressional district, CTE programs play a vital role to ensure that skilled workers are capable of remaining competitive in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand career fields. These fields include STEM disciplines, nursing, allied health, construction, information technology, energy, cybersecurity, sustainability, and other areas that keep our nation competitive in the global economy.
In a Society for Human Resource Management poll of employers, more than half reported they were unable to recruit workers for open positions, and human resource professionals predict a lack of workforce readiness will affect employers for years to come. The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States, with recent data citing 550,000 jobs open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 246,000 jobs open in manufacturing. CTE programs assist businesses in closing the skills gap on a daily basis, by training a competitive workforce to fulfill these 21st Century demands.
The briefing highlighted the importance of CTE in workforce development programs and steps that Congress can take to further strengthen CTE programs nationally and in individual congressional districts.