MONTGOMERY, Ala. – This past week officially kicked off the state’s celebration of Alabama Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.
To celebrate Alabama CTE Month 2023, many local schools and communities are hosting in-school events, online career fairs, virtual college tours and job etiquette workshops to highlight the impact that CTE is having on Alabama student success.
State, local and national workforce trends
“We are truly excited to celebrate Alabama Career and Technical Education Month,” said Assistant State Superintendent, Dr. Jimmy Hull. “Our programs are focused on preparing students for a lifetime of success. Whether they are focused on attending college right after high school graduation, entering the workforce, military service or a combination of these wonderful opportunities, Alabama Career and Technical Education is committed to assisting every student in achieving their goals.”
There are so many excellent learning opportunities for students in today’s CTE. Statewide, over 180,000 students in grades 9-12 are now enrolled in Alabama CTE programs. Alabama CTE is focused on preparing K-12 students for in-demand career opportunities in America’s leading career areas.
The National Career Clusters are 16 basic categories, in which all current jobs in the United States can ultimately be placed into and organized.
See a list of America’s Highest Paying Occupations at www.bls.gov/ooh/highest-paying.htm
Today’s career clusters represent 79 different career pathways. These categories help students and adult learners navigate their ways to greater success in the professions they are interested in. Many Alabama middle schools are now also utilizing the career cluster concept too. Their goal is to spark more career interest and STEM-related learning in students – at a much younger age.
Examples of some of the career fields that Alabama CTE students may prepare for include:
- Journalism (radio, television, print)
- Aviation and Aerospace careers
- K-12 Education
- Medical professions (physician, nursing, dentistry)
- Information Technology and Cybersecurity
- Law Enforcement, First Responder careers and Military Leadership
- Hundreds of other career learning opportunities
“With personal dedication and hard work, we believe every Alabama student can increase their potential to earn high-paying salaries in the future,” continued Hull. “Career and Technical Education truly is a valuable resource in developing K-12 students’ essential workplace skills and academic knowledge.”
The special partnership between Alabama’s education and workforce development communities continues to have a positive impact. Alabama’s high school CTE programs are now considered to be among the top in the nation.
America’s high school and college students have even more promising career prospects now available. According to top experts, over the next decade, America’s leading occupations that require college-level or advanced professional credentials, will have record-breaking job openings.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates employment in media and communication occupations is now projected to grow nearly 14% by 2030. This fast job growth will be a leading example, which is projected to result in nearly 151,500 new jobs – www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/home.htm.
CTE initiatives help reduce student dropout rates and increase on-time graduation. Students who take advanced CTE courses in high school or college are often projected to earn 3.2% more in salary over their lifetime, in comparison to peers who do not take these classes. CTE Concentrators take at least two CTE classes in a specific program of study.
Alabama CTE also provides opportunities for young people to participate in seven national student organizations:
- FBLA helps students develop their potential for top careers through learning important business skills and education concepts – www.alabamafbla-pbl.org
- JROTC is producing selfless leaders committed to the greater good. Through JROTC, students learn leadership and personal responsibility – https://alabamajrotc.org
- FFA is a dynamic youth organization that makes positive differences in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership and personal growth through agricultural education – https://alabamaffa.org
- Members of SkillsUSA proudly proclaim, “We are America’s Future Workforce.” SkillsUSA works to ensure students are prepared for high-paying, real-world career opportunities – https://alskillsusa.org
- Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is an organization for students interested in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) education and careers. FCCLA has family as its central focus. It offers students fantastic opportunities to develop top communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills – https://alabamafccla.org
- DECA prepares students for entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, hospitality, and management careers. Nearly eighty-six percent of DECA students go on to pursue a college education – www.alabamadeca.com
- The Technology Student Association (TSA) provides leadership and opportunities in technology and engineering areas. This organization prepares students in robotics, science, technology, and STEM-related career areas https://alabamatsa.rocks
- HOSA students are Future Health Professionals! They prepare for careers in Physiology, Growth and Development, Medical Language and Safety, Body Mechanics, Infection-Disease Control and Forensics. HOSA students develop medical leadership – https://alabamahosa.org/
- Jobs for Alabama’s Graduates (JAG) pairs students with committed JAG Specialists, who provide instruction to help each student through their personal journey to earn a high school diploma, secure a quality career, and pursue a college education. Alabama JAG has nearly a 99% graduation rate – www.alabamajag.org
To learn more about this year’s Alabama CTE Month celebration and activities taking place in your local community, contact your local Board of Education, call the ALSDE Career Tech/Workforce Development Section at 334-694-4876 or visit www.alabamaachieves.org
Teachers and Local Education Administrators, the 2023 CTE Month Communication Plan is available for review at: https://files.constantcontact.com/ecd88bf2801/0da3b69c-1879-44a2-ad99-c5003c7eb480.pdf