Did you know that February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®? CTE prepares students to be career-ready by providing academic, employability and technical skills through programs at high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges. Occupations and industries included in CTE are broken down into 16 Career Clusters and have a wide range, including construction. Preparing students for tomorrow's workforce and offering clear pathways to certifications and credentials are just a couple benefits that connect CTE directly to the construction industry. The fact that there will be an estimated shortage of 1.5 million craft professionals by 2021 should be continuously emphasized. The industry NEEDS students learning crafts and choosing to join construction — an industry of high skill and demand. The potential of construction careers is also being recognized outside the industry. Laura Black in her article, "Does Construction Rank on Best Jobs?" shares that CareerBuilder recently released a study of jobs that "are projected to grow during the next five years, present good learning opportunities and don't require a college degree." Not surprisingly, craft professional made the cut as one of the top jobs for people who want a successful career. Are the younger generations, both millennials and Gen Z, noticing? The 2017 College Student Survey by Strada-Gallup provides insight to the mindset of currently enrolled college students; only half believe their major will lead to a good job. Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education & Workforce Development at Gallup states that "88 percent of freshmen say, 'getting a good job' is the reason they go to college, yet only a third strongly agree they are getting the skills and knowledge they need to succeed." It's interesting to note however that the students' confidence in their potential careers rises with majors that focus on science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) – many components of which are found in CTE and the construction industry. Representing NCCER and Build Your Future at a recent Florida Construction Career Day gave me a snapshot of the interest that high school students have in learning skills and following a career path to success. The recognition that the students had for NCCER's Core Curriculum, Carpentry and other crafts was encouraging. Not only were the students excitedly pointing out the material they were learning, but many students mentioned that they would have specific credentials — industry-recognized credentials — when they were done with their classes. These students recognized that they weren't just earning a grade but learning a craft that would provide viable career options when they finished. What role does CTE play in helping students have more confidence in their chosen career path? Quite a lot. Not only does CTE increase graduation and reduce dropout rates but work-based learning helps students develop critical understanding of the work environment and receive higher earnings. Students are better prepared, more engaged and more likely to both find and keep employment. Let's hear what students have to say about CTE. Check out the winning Public Service Announcement video in ACTE's CTE Month 2018 PSA video contest: Congratulations, Indiana County Technology Center! The growing reemergence of CTE in schools will only help bridge the shortage of craft professionals. Our industry also needs to continue using apprenticeships and other programs to keep building the skills of the younger generations. Does your organization participate in CTE or offer apprenticeships? How did you begin your career in construction?

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  1. rburris | Mar 26, 2018

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks! Sure thing; here is the link to the list from CareerBuilder: http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-12-28-Best-Jobs-for-Workers-Who-Want-to-Get-Ahead-in-2018 That's great! Please let me know if you have any questions. I also recommend checking out the BYF trading cards (http://www.byf.org/explore-careers/trading-cards/) where you can find more information about specific craft professional positions.

    -Rachel, NCCER communications manager

     

  2. Barry Bender | Mar 23, 2018

    Hi Rachel,

    Really liked your article.   Could you point me to the study/list you referenced from Laura Black's article?  I tried googling for it on the Careerbuilder site and the only one I found did not list construction laborer.  If you could shoot me the link, that would be greatly appreciated.  I would like to reference that in some marketing pieces with high school students. Thanks!

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    About NCCER

    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.