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CTE Month a great time to explore a career in the trades

We wholeheartedly agree with a press release from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office: Students should be encouraged to explore education and career pathways during Career and Technical Education Month.

This week, Gov. Whitmer joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Department of Education in proclaiming February as Career and Technical Education Month.

With more than 529,000 Michigan job openings projected annually through the year 2028, career and technical education offers high school and college students hands-on training. That training can be applied to real-world training and career pathways, jobs that are rewarding and necessary.

Additionally, a news release from Whitmer’s office states, as “part of the governor’s Michigan Back to Work initiative to grow the state economy and encourage good-paying jobs for Michigan workers, this month state officials are encouraging students to explore viable programs across the state that teach skills needed for high-demand, high-skill, high-wage career opportunities.”

A quote from the governor: “There are many career pathways that can lead to a rewarding future, and it’s important that Michigan students can access and explore the many options available to them. Career and technical education programs offer academic, technical and real-world skills that prepare our high school and college students for success in today’s 21st century economy.”

CTE programs that are aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers in fields such as information technology, health care, hospitality and manufacturing are offered at some high schools, colleges and universities across Michigan. Most high school programs also offer early college credit opportunities to provide a seamless transition to post-secondary education.

More than 97,000 Michigan high school students participated in CTE in the 2019-2020 school year, despite the pandemic.

More than 95% of students who concentrated in CTE went on to attend a post-secondary educational institution, seek advanced career and technical education training, sign up for military service, participate in national volunteer service, or find employment within a year of graduation, according to MDE.

Data from the MDE also shows students who completed a high school CTE program and went on to earn a two-year degree now earn an average starting wage that is $5,200 more than their peers with no high school CTE.

We encourage families looking at their student’s future to explore what CTE has to offer. Visit the state’s Pathfinder website at https://pathfinder.mitalent.org/#/home or find additional resources and information on MDE’s website at www.michigan.gov/mde.

To explore professional trades careers, including Day-In-The-Life videos from real Michiganders highlighting their careers, and learn more about Career and Technical Education Month, go to Going-PRO.com/CTE.

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