Students at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center joined their peers across the nation to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®.
The Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center educates nearly 1,000 students from school districts throughout Ulster County and its surrounding area. Throughout the month of February, Ulster BOCES highlighted the students—who are the next generation of American workers— and the rigorous college-and work-ready educations they are receiving through a career and technical education (CTE).
According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), more than 80 percent of manufacturers report that talent shortages will impact their ability to meet customer demand. These labor exports also predict 3 million workers will be needed for the nation’s infrastructure in the next decade, including designing, building and operating transportation, housing, utilities, and telecommunications.
The American Welding Society says the U.S. will need 450,000 welding professionals by 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in Information Technology is projected to grow 12% by 2028, and ACTE says that Healthcare occupations are projected to grow 18 percent by 2026, adding more than 2 million new jobs.
With statistics like these, it is no surprise that awareness and appreciation for CTE are steadily increasing in the United States. “CTE students are essential to the future of the United States economy,” says Ulster BOCES District Superintendent, Charles V. Khoury, Ed.D. “Our programs are crucial to ensuring our nation has a skilled workforce possessing the characteristics and qualities that business and industry need for their success.”
Nationwide, the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 93%, compared to an average national graduation rate of 80%. The graduation rate of Ulster County students enrolled in Ulster BOCES CTE courses is higher, with 99% successfully completing their trade requirements and 95% earning their high school diplomas in the 2018-2019 year.
“Our programs are all designed to meet current labor needs. We work closely with local business and industry leaders to ensure our students are learning current industry practices using modern technology,” said Amy Storenski, principal. “Students leave our programs ready for either college or careers and have the skills to be successful employees and future leaders.”
Ulster County students have access to more than two-dozen career areas ranging from aviation, culinary arts, healthcare, engineering, robotics, automotive, welding, education, technology, graphic arts, and electrical programs, to name just a few. Upon successful completion of coursework, most programs allow students to earn college credits while in high school, and some qualify students for industry-related licenses and certifications.
On March 2, school districts across the county are hosting a field trip to Ulster BOCES for their sophomore students who might be interested in enrolling in CTE courses in their junior year. Students should see their guidance counselors for more information.
- Career & Technical Education (CTE)