What is Career Technical Education?  Whether you realize it or not, CTE has affected you your whole life.  From the doctors and nurses that have treated your illnesses, the buildings built that you have lived and worked in, the police and firemen who work to protect you, the mechanics and engineers who help get you to where you need to go, the chefs of your favorite restaurant, the veterinarian who cares for your pets…this list can go on and on.  CTE can be seen everywhere.

The ingenuity of today’s CTE programs is what makes a difference from standard classes.  Career and Technical Education goes beyond the sharing of information and knowledge to empowering students with the wisdom and skills of when and how to apply that knowledge throughout their careers and daily lives.  CTE not only provides students with an environment to discover their passion, but the guidance so that their passion is also given purpose and a pathway for further education and career development.

Today’s CTE is about creating inspiration, cultivating vision and supporting innovation.  The last 100 years have seen advances in almost every aspect of civilization.  We have seen some career fields expand, some maintain and others have ceased to be needed while even more have been created.  Technology has connected the world and more businesses are becoming global enterprises to meet economic demand.  CTE is the bridge education needs to enable our students to not just succeed, but to thrive in this ever changing world.

We live in a world touched by CTE and we owe it to the next generation to provide them with the keys to unlock their potential. The question we need people to start asking isn’t, what is CTE?  It isn’t, will you support CTE?  The question we need to start asking our school districts, our communities, our local industries and our legislators is how can they afford to not support CTE?  How can they afford to not support a system of education that is designed to grow and develop with the ever changing needs of tomorrow’s workforce?

February is CTE Month and we want to encourage everyone to celebrate and support your local CTE programs.  Take the time to visit these programs and sit down with your kids and their guidance counselor to learn about programs offered in your district.  If you have graduated and found success through CTE then share your story with others through ACTEAZ or IamCTE.  If you teach a CTE program then we encourage you invite your legislators, local industry and community leaders to visit. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.”

Help make CTE Month a success in your community and beyond!