February 4, 2024 | Harold Hare

Investing in Success: CTE Programs Reshaping New York’s Employment Landscape

In New York, the landscape of education and employment is undergoing a transformation, where the traditional pathways to career success are being redefined. At the heart of this shift is Career and Technical Education (CTE), a beacon of hope and innovation for students navigating the complexities of the modern job market. CTE programs stand as a bridge between ambition and opportunity, offering learners the tools and skills necessary to thrive in industries that are pivotal to the state’s economic growth and sustainability. 

CTE: A Solution for Tomorrow’s Economy

In the Empire State, data from the Association for Career & Technical Education highlight a significant economic paradox: 49% of available jobs demand more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. However, only 37% of the workforce possesses this level of education. This skills gap presents a unique challenge and opportunity for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to bridge the divide. CTE programs in New York are strategically designed to address this gap, focusing on key industries such as distribution, tourism, tech & electronics, and materials processing. These sectors are crucial for the state’s economic growth and sustainability, and CTE programs are the launchpad for skilled professionals ready to innovate and excel.

Earnings, Participation, and Career Readiness

During the 2020-21 school year, a significant number of students in New York participated in Career and Technical Education programs, with 113,469 at the secondary level and 156,616 at the postsecondary level. CTE is not solely focused on immediate job preparation; it also sets students on a path to long-term success. Impressively, CTE concentrators in New York achieved a four-year cohort graduation rate of 99%, in contrast to the state’s overall student rate of 85%. This data unquestionably demonstrates the effectiveness of CTE in promoting educational attainment. These CTE participants graduate at higher rates and earn industry-recognized credentials, providing a strong foundation for their future careers.

The Call for Increased Investment

Despite these successes, there’s a pressing need for more investment in CTE programs in New York. Ensuring every learner, especially those historically underserved, have access to these opportunities is critical for the future of New York’s workforce and economy. With FY 23 Federal Perkins CTE funding for New York at $64 million, the commitment to CTE is evident, yet the demand and potential for growth necessitate further support. The journey of CTE in the state is one of opportunity, challenge, and promise. By investing in these programs, we can ensure that all learners in New York are equipped with the skills needed to thrive in a competitive, ever-evolving job market.

The Future Ready Curriculum: Shaping New York’s CTE Landscape

As New York ventures further into bridging its skills gap through CTE, the integration of innovative resources like the Future Ready Curriculum becomes invaluable. Tailored to complement CTE programs, Find Your Grind aligns with the dynamic needs of Generation Alpha and Gen-Z through microlearning and gamification and deeply engages students in exploring their career paths while developing essential skills for the future. This approach not only enhances the CTE learning experience but also ensures that students are well-prepared for the evolving job market, making Find Your Grind a pivotal partner in expanding CTE programs across New York.

Watch the Future Ready Curriculum Video

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