What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?
“Today’s cutting-edge, rigorous, and relevant career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high wage, high skill, high demand careers.” (Association For Career and Technical Education)
This definition is pretty succinct, and according to recent national and state labor statistics, the United States workforce needs to grow steadily over the next decade to fill vacancies from retiring Baby-Boomers, as well as be ready for jobs that will exist in the future. Blue collar jobs are more in demand now than ever before and our CTE delivery system is Maine is growing both at secondary and post-secondary levels to accommodate this need.
Our students at the Tri-County Technical Center have ten trades to choose from and each offers a variety of national trade endorsed certificates the students can get while attending TCTC. Some examples include: Culinary Arts “ServSafe” certification; Automotive Technology NATEF, AES certification; Commercial Truck Driving CDL Class A and Class B licenses; Health Occupations state certified CNA licenses, to name only a few. The point is, CTE programs prepare students to enter the workforce with skills ready to be deployed and national certificates to back up what they have learned.
CTE students can also choose to go on to post-secondary colleges and universities should they desire to do so. There they can enhance their knowledge and explore further opportunities their career field offers. Most that go on to higher education have taken CTE courses that translate into college credits. These are called articulation agreements, where colleges match up their curriculum to ours and grant credit. To the student and parents, that means money saved. An example is our Precision Machining program. Here students attending this program can be granted enough credits to actually complete a year’s worth of work in several community colleges offering machine manufacturing.
Besides saving money and time, there are many aspects attributed to CTE than just “learning a trade.” Students are exposed constantly to the too often forgotten work ethic of honest work for honest pay, good attendance, hygiene, and an ability to work as an individual or as a member of a team. CTE is a place where you get excellent organizational skills, learn to problem solve, and get gratification for working efficiently and safely.
Director, Tri-County Technical Center