« Completing College in Four Years Is a 'Myth,' Says Report Calling for Reforms | Main | White House Hosts Second College Opportunity Day of Action in Washington »

Employer Engagement Landscape Revealed in Survey of Career Ed. Leaders

There is widespread consensus that employer engagement is critical to the success of career technical education. Now, a new survey of state directors of CTE programs identifies effective models and emphasizes the need for schools to build scalable, sustainable partnerships with businesses.

A report released Wednesday by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, finds that 80 percent of CTE state directors believe employer engagement increased in intensity over the past decade, and all but three states anticipate that this intensity will continue to grow in the next five years.

The consortium survey included 47 state directors and interviews with 12 state and national leaders in the field.

To close the nation's job skills gap and develop a competitive workforce, the report suggests states consider a coordinated strategy with policies and leveraging resources to support career programs in high schools.

"CTE cannot deliver high-quality programs without meaningful partnerships with employers, who help ensure those programs are aligned with industry needs and have genuine value to students and employers alike," the new report says.

The survey found that 43 states require CTE programs that receive federal funding through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to create and use local advisory committees, which include employer participation. Ten states require programs to set up work-based learning opportunities,use employer-driven professional development for teachers, and/or monetary or in-kind contributions receive Perkins funding.

More than half of the state directors said there were pilot programs being funded by state agencies and legislatures to foster tighter connections between career programs and the business community. To help schools know how to navigate relationships with employers, nearly half of state directors said they issue guidance, such as manuals on managing business partnerships. About 20 states are using competitive grants to encourage employer engagement.

State leaders from Virginia and New Jersey, which are featured in the consortium report, shared some of the their innovative approaches to business engagement at an event covered in a blog post earlier this fall.

On Monday, the Council of Chief State School Officers released a set of recommendations to improve CTE programs that 43 states committed to use in upgrading their career education programs.

The consortium will host a webinar Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the survey results and the national employer engagement landscape.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments