New career and technical ed approaches may help address employment, economic needs
- The Manchester School of Technology is revamping its CTE programs to better prepare students for in-state jobs as New Hampshire seeks ways to fill 17,000 skilled jobs amid concerns including an aging population and a significant “brain drain” that sees nearly 50% of college-bound high school graduates leave the state, according to The Hechinger Report.
- Though roughly 50% of New Hampshire residents have a postsecondary credential, economists predict that 68% of jobs in the state will require more than a high school education within the next decade.
- By launching its own high school, expanding career offerings to meet local and expected future needs, providing more opportunities for collaboration between career tracks at the school, and building stronger industry partnerships, Manchester School of Technology hopes to encourage more students to stay in the area and fill local jobs.
As state and local leaders approach the concept of education, it is completely natural that in-state concerns are top-of-mind. The economic needs of a community — the need to attract industry, the need to provide workers to industries already in existence, the need to maintain and grow a tax base — are all considerations. Though educators have the best interests of the students as a prime consideration, these two points of view are not mutually exclusive, and acknowledging the needs of the local community and state is a good way to not only build strong partnerships, but to also build support for increased school funding to meet these economic goals.
New Hampshire, like many states, is looking at ways to keep students in-state to meet job needs and build its tax base. This is what many community colleges do: look at the needs of the community and strive to meet them. Those needs may be for certain job skills, for help meeting course requirements for four-year degrees, or for building high schools or early college high schools that bridge the gap to both. Many states are now looking at ways to make community college education free as a way to keep local students local and to meet the needs for a skilled workforce in their own communities.
However, CTE training is not just about meeting community needs. According to an article published by The Hechinger Report last year, “The United States has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Georgetown center. People with career and technical educations are actually slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials, the U.S. Department of Education reports, and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study.”
Thus, CTE education meets the needs of students for high-paying jobs, as well.
- The Hechinger Report Revamped and rigorous, career and technical education is ready to be taken seriously