CTE Economy

Principle 2 - Active Partners

While our economy is experiencing an overall downturn, there are industry sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing and energy that are growing. Unfortunately, growth in these sectors is hampered by jobs that go unfilled  because there is a shortage of qualified, skilled  workers. Now more than ever alignment of our education, workforce and economic development systems is critical. In 2009 the President's Council of Economic Advisors reported that, "participation in skills-training programs led to increased wages and earnings, raised the probability and consistency of employment and led to higher-quality jobs."

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Principle 1 - Global Competitiveness

In this dynamic global economy, the connection between education and the workforce could not be more apparent. For the United States to assert its leadership in this complex and ever-changing economy, education must be central to our economic strategy. That means for education programs to truly be effective, we must collaborate with business and industry to align what they teach with what the economy demands.  Underscoring the urgency to address this issue, economic forecasts predict that as the U.S. Economy fights to recover and excel, disconnect  between the types of jobs employees need to fill and the education and technical skills people have to secure those jobs will grow.

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McKinsey Global Institute Report

In the wake of the 2008 recession, it has become clear that the pattern of job creation in the United States has shifted. Building on our previous work on US labor markets and economic renewal, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) undertook the research in this report to more fully understand the employment challenge.

The primary thrust of our inquiry has been to determine the causes of slow job creation in the period before the recession and the implications for future job growth. We project how the US labor force will evolve over the next ten years and create different scenarios for job growth based on extensive analysis of sector trends. Our central finding is that a return to full employment will require not only a robust economic recovery but also a concerted effort to address the institutional and structural factors that have weakened job creation. We offer a range of possible solutions that we hope will add to the national conversation.

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CTE Strong Economy Fact Sheet

For nearly a century, career and technical education (CTE) programs across the United States have focused on equipping students with technical and life skills to help them become productive citizens. Now more than ever, CTE programs are needed to help ensure the strength of our workforce, global competiveness and the economic health of our nation.

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CTE Return On Investment

The nation’s education system serves individuals of all ages and from all walks of life, but even education is not exempt from the impacts of our current economic crisis. Today, policy makers are being cornered into making tough choices. They must direct scarce funds toward education programs that produce maximum results, and reduce or even eliminate funds for programs that do not measure up. That pressure to demonstrate value certainly falls on Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. CTE must be reframed to shore up the economy by providing rigorous job training and secondary and postsecondary preparation that meet the needs of the labor market.

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CTE Provides Opportunity

CTE Leads to College

  • 79% of CTE concentrators enrolled in postsecondary education within 2 years of high school graduation
  • 80% of CTE concentrators persisted in postsecondary education
  • 27% of people with less than an associate’s degree (including licenses and certificates) earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient
  • Number of CTE credentials awarded nationally in 2006: 2,022,885
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