The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a blueprint to transform career and technical education (CTE) in order to provide high-quality job-training opportunities for students. These efforts aim to reduce skill shortages, promote business growth, encourage new investments and hires, and prompt innovation and economic growth.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new efforts at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, where he also discussed the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.
The Obama administration already has made investments to align classroom teaching and learning with real-world business needs. ED and the Department of Labor are in the process of distributing $2 billion in Trade Adjustment Assistance grants to strengthen community college programs and workforce partnerships.
The FY 2013 budget proposes an additional $1 billion to help 500,000 (a 50 percent increase) high school students participate in Career Academies, programs offered in high school that combine college curricula with a career emphasis, such as healthcare or engineering.
As the nation recovers from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, 60 percent of jobs added nationwide last year went to those with at least a bachelor’s degree, and 90 percent to those with at least some college.
Over the next decade, as many as two-thirds of all new jobs will require education beyond high school.