February is Career and Technical Education Month, an annual awareness campaign that gives Career and Technical Education (CTE) the appreciation it deserves. CTE is a critical part of the construction industry, training our labor force for specialized trades. We will be celebrating all month long and hope you will, too.
CTE differs from other types of education in that it directly prepares students for a specific career with hands-on experience, rather than a lengthy (and often expensive) general education. We know and love CTE’s for their great training they provide for the construction industry, but they also prepare students to work in other fields, including hospitality, health care and information technology. Their unique approach to education includes classroom learning as well as certification training and work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.
How can you get involved with CTE Month? We all can do our part in our everyday lives.
If you are involved in an Kentucky-based Career and Technical Education center, you will be at the center of this month’s celebrations. You already do great work throughout the year, but now is the time to make sure that everyone knows it!
One of the best ways to get the word out is with a school or site visit. Invite members of your community to see what CTE is all about. Invitees might include local public officials, industry professionals and members of the media. This event should showcase the scope of your offering. Be sure to make it as interactive as your classes so visitors feel the difference firsthand.
We also encourage you to inspire your students to get involved. Their direct experience will make the true value of this educational path evident. What better way to inspire young people than with a bit of competition? ACTS and NASA HUNCH are hosting the fourth student video challenge. Be sure to share this competition with your local schools, as this competition is open to all students, even outside of postsecondary students in CTE programs, including elementary, middle and high school students.
CTE Month provides you with an incredible opportunity to connect with potential future employees. Perhaps you’ve already benefited from the quality education and work-based learning that comes from your local CTE programs. If so, use this month to showcase former CTA students who are now successful employees. Whether through your company website, in your organizational newsletter, in ACTE’s Industry Connect Blog or somewhere else, this is the perfect time to share how your local CTE prepared your employees for their position and how your business is the perfect place for graduates to begin their careers.
If you are unfamiliar with CTE, read this helpful resource. Once you see the value for yourself, we encourage you to partner with your community’s Career Technical Center and host a career fair. Together, you can highlight the best of what you both offer.
Even if you aren’t an active member of the industry or an educator, you can still celebrate CTE Month along with us. After all, when you support your local training centers, you support your local community. Share the CTE Month logo on your social media to get the word out, pass out CTE Month Merchandise at your office or talk openly with your friends and family about the value CTE brings.