CTE_Month_logo_2016By Kevin Oshinskie, Project Associate for the Association for Career and Technical Education This February, NCCER, in collaboration with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), is celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®. CTE Month offers career and technical educators and students nationwide the opportunity to highlight their stories of leadership and excellence. Through videos, blogs, articles and events, the entire CTE community will be engaged in this annual celebration. This year’s CTE Month theme of “Opportunities for Career Success” was chosen to emphasize how CTE provides students the technical and employability skills they need to be competitive in the workforce. CTE prepares students for a wide variety of in-demand career fields, from health care to IT to construction. In the next eight years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the construction sector to add almost 800,000 jobs. By 2024, electricians, heavy equipment operators and laborers will all see their numbers grow by at least 10 percent, or faster than the national average. It is critical that we not only make students aware of opportunities for careers in construction, but that we ensure they have access to the proper programs that will prepare them to enter this growing industry. In past years, ACTE has illustrated the importance of construction education through our CTE Month activities. Our CTE Month school visit last February to Montgomery College of Maryland focused on the college’s construction management program. In addition to touring construction classrooms and viewing videos of the houses that students in the program had built, attendees listened to a panel that included educators, administrators, industry partners and students as they discussed the articulation agreements that existed between local high schools, Montgomery College and a local four-year college. At ACTE, we recognize the importance of the work NCCER does to create standardized craft curricula with portable credentials for the construction industry. ACTE knows how useful these types of credentials are to students, whether they hope to enter a career immediately after training or use their credentials as a stepping stone to a college degree or other type of continuing education. We urge readers to utilize the resources NCCER has created to support this goal, including the Construction Career Pathways connection map for industry leaders and educators seeking to collaborate and Build Your Future for videos, issue briefs and fact sheets that promote construction careers. We look forward to promoting CTE Month with the help of NCCER and other organizations, and we hope to hear from you about your efforts to recognize excellence in construction and other CTE fields. For more information on ACTE and NCCER’s respective CTE Month work, visit CTEmonth.org and NCCER’s CTE Month page. Want to share a story about your CTE Month celebrations? Contact us.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.