U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville is marking February as Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month.
In a video message thanking Alabama teachers and encouraging students, Tuberville outlined the importance of CTE for not just Alabama’s students, but the overall well-being of the entire state, particularly its workforce.
“This is a very important month for students and teachers across our great state of Alabama,” said Tuberville. “CTE programs are a crucial part of preparing students to have successful careers.”
Ever the Coach, Tuberville said those interested in CTE careers should begin training before they enter the workforce, much like athletes do before competing.
“Just as athletes begin practicing long before they step on the field, career development should begin before students step into their first job. More than 167,000 high school students in Alabama participate in CTE.”
He also said that through his own personal experience he has seen the benefits of CTE.
“As a former FFA officer, I can personally attest to the positive impact of CTE. These classes and organizations, such as FFA, FCCLA, FBLA, and JROTC offer irreplaceable experiences for students,” said Tuberville.
“They help students sharpen leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills.”
On the state level, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth formed the 21st Century Workforce Commission which published a plan calling for the state’s further investment into CTE, ensuring its place in the future of education in Alabama.
“Alabama should highlight the long-term value Career and Technical Education (CTE) creates for students by developing a diploma pathway that supports students accessing skills training during high school,” the plan stated. “The CTE Diploma would reorient applied skill requirements toward hands-on career training that incorporates academic learning for students who do not plan to attend a four-year college or university.”
“It would also create scheduling flexibility for students traveling to training centers so that CTE skills development does not come at the expense of student life and developmental activities like organized sports, arts, or civic engagement.
“Additionally, Alabama should reinvest in CTE centers to ensure students in every county have access to a high-quality facility with curriculum and equipment to prepare them to enter today’s in-demand careers.”
Recent data indicates that CTE students have higher average incomes than those who did not participate in CTE programs and classes. Studies have also found that 77% of employers hired an employee because of their CTE experience.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.