It is always important to know where you came from. The history of Career and Technical Education along with the class on Perkins legislation helped me grasp a better understanding of the purpose of the career technical programs. As I look at how the CTAE program expanded based on the economic and work force needs, we are basically back at some of the same roads that helped ignite the expansion of the CTAE programs. Specifically, during this economically challenging time, we are faced with people in need of jobs; but, jobs were there are not enough qualified people to fill them. As I was listening to one of the economic analyst career forecast, the comment was made that there are many jobs however the applicants do not have the proper education and skills to fulfill the positions. They went on to forecast that our lack of skilled workers will be critical in the next five to ten years. One suggestions was to increase the marketability of students coming out of high school.
That is what CTAE does: we are to help the students guaduate with a marketable skill, prepare them for the work force or to enter a post secondary program ( technical or college). The Perkins Legislation provides funding for the CTAE programs. These funds are to help the CTAE build up quality programs that will provide skilled instructors and resources to ensure that students have the best opportunity, to not only be marketable but competitive in the technical work force that is already here. I understand that our class is not just an "elective" but has an essential role in helping to cultivate a trained, skilled and educated group of individuals that are diverse and ready for all opportunities; rather it be work force, entrepreneurial endeveors and or furthering their education.
My only concern is, because we are in such a critical time and funding is available, why is it that so many people are just given a key with no directions on how to operate these wonderful CTAE programs? It seems to me, if we look back and use the knowledge and funding wisely, we could really offer our students more opportunites for successful careers.
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