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Career and Technical Education

February 15, 2021Marissa Ransted, Director of Talent & Development for the Abilene Industrial Foundation

Career and Technical Education or CTE has recently become a centric focus for industry, education, workforce and economic development leaders within communities that are eager to be innovative pioneers. CTE classes have started many conversations within our local community and region on how to leverage cross-sector partnerships to bridge education to industry. CTE classes are viable for students to participate in for not only themselves, but for the benefit of our education systems, their future employers and the community that they live and work in. But, don’t just take my word. Instead, please enjoy insights from our community leaders that understand the importance and significance of CTE in our community.

“Career and Technical Education programs provide all students with opportunities to gain technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions. These programs are vital to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in preparing students to graduate college, career, military ready. The Counseling, Advising and Student Supports team at TEA is dedicated to building a bridge between counseling and CTE program to support students in their academic and career development.” – Lindsey Phillips, Effective Advising Program Manager, Texas Education Agency

“Career and Technical Education gives opportunities to our youth of the future. We have seen that students need exposure to all types of careers. We need to continue to start the conversation before students begin high school. We need parents and community to help with that conversation. This would begin the domino effect of guiding students to become a positive part of their community and economic development. Students are our future.” – Vicki Hayhurst, Region 14 Education Service Center

“I believe Career & Technology Education is vital within our school system for multiple reasons.  It exposes students to possible careers choices and local industries, allows students to get a jump start on their career through certifications, internships, practicums, and content exposure, helps students make more informed decisions about their post-secondary plans, and encourages community involvement and partnerships with our local school districts.” – Regan Berry- Director of Career and Technical Education, Wylie ISD

“It’s an exciting time for Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Abilene ISD. CTE provides students with both academic and career-oriented courses that prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand careers. With the opening of our new CTE Center in August 2021, The LIFT will allow students to experience new, state-of-the-art equipment with many opportunities to learn and demonstrate real-world skills.” – Lucille Fullen, Director of Career and Technical Education, Abilene ISD

“CTE courses are an excellent opportunity for students to learn skills that will prepare them for successful careers. I believe that when students take CTE courses that lead them to industry, they are setting themselves up for a bright future in whatever pathway they choose!” – Elisha Seca, Career Development Coach, NEXTUniversity, Abilene ISD

“Employers frequently cite the lack of employability skills, such as problem-solving, team-work, communication, and persistence as a bigger challenge than finding workers with technical skills.  CTE programs are the best strategy for providing employability skills and technical skills.  Through hands-on learning, real world applications and opportunities for internships, students in CTE programs develop these essential skills and are well-equipped when they enter the workforce.  CTE programs should be a requirement for every student regardless of their post-graduation plans because they prepare students for career success.” – Mary Ross, Executive Director, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas

“Over the last several years the economics of building products in low-cost countries compared to today’s manufacturing costs in the US has become very comparable. This is fueling a trend of moving manufacturing back to  the US and Texas that is projected grow at an ever increasing pace.  Over the next 15 years it is estimated the Texas population will grow by 10 million people creating a demand for an additional 8 million jobs, many of which will be in manufacturing.  Across all segments of our workforce, developing CTE programs with partners such as the BCMA are vital for graduating future employees with the technical skills and abilities our manufacturing companies will be needing.” – Thomas Taylor- BCMA Board Chair, Ludlum Measurements

“Employers frequently cite the lack of employability skills, such as problem-solving, team work, communication, and persistence as a bigger challenge than finding workers with technical skills.  CTE programs are the best strategy for providing employability skills and technical skills.  Through hands-on learning, real world applications and opportunities for internships, students in CTE programs develop these essential skills and are well-equipped when they enter the workforce.  CTE programs should be a requirement for every student regardless of their post-graduation plans because they prepare students for career success.” – Mary Ross, Executive Director, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas

“The DevelopAbilene Team realizes the importance of supporting students involved in CTE classes, particularly those classes within pathways that lead to primary jobs. Primary jobs help to infuse the local economy and also provide life sustaining wages.  The precision and technical skills training required for Primary Jobs start at the secondary level and prepare our local students to continue their education or enter the workforce, creating a local talent pipeline, making Abilene competitive to attract and retain businesses.” – Misty Mayo, CEO, Development Corporation of Abilene

“Career and Technical Education allows our students an opportunity to get a leg up on the skills and training they will use for life. The skills and training that our students are receiving through CTE classes are viable to our industry and community partners. Our local entrepreneurs, business owners and industry partners look to the Abilene Industrial Foundation and The Chamber to help foster and develop our local talent to create a strong community and workforce. We work together to know the pulse of our community needs, so we can actively provide creative and effective solutions to link education to industry.” – Doug Peters, President & CEO, Abilene Chamber of Commerce and Abilene Industrial Foundation

“CTE classes have been a huge part of my high school career. I think it’s so important for students to take CTE classes because they give you a foundation, and so many skills that you’ll be able to use today and in the future. I am in National Technical Honor Society (CTE) and I have learned how to be successful in my academic classes as well as the workplace because of the skills and training I have gained through taking CTE classes. By taking these classes students are able to experience real world situations allowing students to smoothly transition from the classroom to their future workplace.” – Addie Thompson, Class of 2021, CTE National Technical Honor Society Member

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