Planning for the Future
A few states have moved beyond marketing and communication in their branding efforts, and they are attempting to plan for the future with the brand in mind. Their work is a great reminder that a brand is about far more than a logo; it is about committing to a shared vision of what quality means in CTE.
These three states – Arkansas, New Jersey and Virginia – are engaging in grand activities like rewriting mission statements, passing legislation and instituting quality control systems. Activities like this will help the brand to become more deeply incorporated in the state
The Arkansas Department of Career Education used the CTE brand messaging, the CTE vision paper ("Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for CTE"), and a document titled "Ten Ways to Market CTE Now" as the foundation of their state college and career ready legislation of 2011.
There had previously not been any legislation in Arkansas that was directed just at CTE. Once it passed, that legislation gave the Department of Career Education direction for how they should move CTE forward. State CTE leaders in Arkansas used the successful legislation as the basis for their document titled "Vision for Arkansas CTE 2015".
Both documents form the foundation for a strong plan that will improve the overall image of CTE in the state.
CTE’s brand messaging inspired the New Jersey Office of Career and Technical Education to create a new mission statement to guide the department's work.
The mission statement now reads: “Our mission is to provide leadership for innovative and performance-driven educational opportunities that promote equity and excellence for all students to become productive members in a global society.” The new mission statement more closely connects employees and their work to the CTE vision and the CTE brand message.
After attending the presentation where the CTE branding materials were introduced, state leaders at the Virginia Office of Career and Technical Education Services felt it needed to make sure that all documents with the CTE logo on them represented the CTE brand promise
They decided to institute a system of quality control for all documents they create at the state level. The state graphic artist is the only state staff person allowed to use the logo. The person in that position is tasked with knowing all of the guidelines for logo usage, and she is the gatekeeper of quality. The state has implemented a three-year plan to systematically and deliberately incorporate the logo on all documents after the documents have been revised to make sure they are communicating the brand promise.
The links below represent just a few of the resources that have already been revised as part of Virginia CTE’s quality control efforts.
What can you do?
These resources can help your state get started on the path to lasting change. Consider working with your state leaders and stakeholders to create a new CTE mission and/or vision that incorporates the new CTE brand messaging. Or introduce legislation that can provide long-term direction for your state. Finally, consider how to establish quality control over all CTE resources created in your state. These actions can all have deep and lasting impact.