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CTE: Learning that works for business & industry

CTE is developing a skilled, sustainable workforce for American business and industry.

Secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE programs are preparing a highly skilled, sustainable, world-class workforce with the technical expertise, work ethic and employability skills that American business and industry need to remain globally competitive. CTE is aligned with the interests of business and industry—and the interests of our nation.

Baby boomers will be retiring at the rate of thousands per day over the next two decades (1).

Experts predict 47 million job openings in the decade ending 2018. About one-third will require an associate's degree or certificate, and nearly all will require real-world skills that can be mastered through CTE (2).

CTE actively partners with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs.

CTE understands that business and industry is the ultimate "customer" for CTE graduates. A fundamental goal of CTE is developing partnerships with business and industry to design programs founded in the standards students must meet to compete in the job market. Through advisory committees, internships, teacher externships, workplace experiences and other interaction, employers have the opportunity to share information regarding expectations, technical requirements and workplace behavior—driving innovation and world-class performance.

CTE is providing the technical knowledge required for leadership and innovation.

Technology is integral to the curriculum in CTE programs, just as it is integral to virtually every career, business and industry in the 21st Century. CTE programs are using technology to not only deliver effective education, but also to teach students how to use technology to solve problems, communicate and collaborate more effectively, and improve performance and productivity.

CTE is driving quality and consistency to meet employer expectations.

CTE leadership across the nation is collaborating to establish even more rigorous core technical standards and programs of study designed to improve the consistency and quality of CTE across America. The goal: To assure business and industry that CTE programs are developing people with the credentials, skill attainment, technical knowledge and clear understanding of the expectations of the workplace needed to keep employers productive and competitive.

Career Clusters™ provides an entry point for business and industry to engage with CTE at the local and state level.

CTE is organized by a national framework called Career Clusters™. This framework presents a complete range of related career options to students, helps them discover their interests and passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and their chosen career. These pathways provide opportunities for local business and industry to interact with CTE programs through internships, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and cooperative education.

Through Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs), employers have the opportunity to provide real-world challenges and experiences for students as they learn to collaborate, cooperate, communicate and compete—important skill sets to be successful in the workplace.

(1) Pew Research Center
(2) Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce via Harvard's "Pathways to Prosperity" Report