A New York Senate Task Force on Workforce Development report released recently echoes what faculty and students at Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) have been saying for years â€“ getting a CTE education gives a person a much needed boost in the global economy.
The main theme of the report report focuses on breaking down stigmas associated with students going through vocational programs rather than through academic higher education.
The report recommended, among other things, increasing BOCES participation by high school students and offering incentives for teachers to join such vocational schools, while also investing $12 million to continue and expand early college high schools as well as make them permanent in state statute.
Another recommendation of the Senate report is expanding state Department of Labor data to make it more "forward-facingâ€� in an effort to predict future workforce needs and to help schools prepare students for careers.
At Capital Region BOCES CTE, looking at the available data, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS) job growth projections, is something that's been done for years.
For example, CTE offers training for employment and/or further study in some of the fastest-growing occupations identified by the BLS, including careers with job growth projections such as 15 percent (welding), 20 percent (electrical trades) and 21 percent growth (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration).
"We believe it is pivotal to connect academics to real-world success
in the 40 programs we offer students in classrooms across the
region,â€� said Dr. Valerie Kelsey, director of the BOCES CTE.
Students agree that attending CTE is vital to success.
"Going to CTE gives you hands-on experiences instead of just learning from a textbook," said junior Autumn Reichelt, of Niskayuna â€” a nurse assistant student at CTE. "That gives you an edge, because you really get to see what the career is all about and you get to make a decision before you get to college on whether it is right for you. That gives you a tremendous edge over others."
"I plan to go to college and then pursue a career in Heating, Ventilation Air Conditions and Refrigeration (HVAC/R). Going to CTE has allowed me to develop new skills and meet and work with different people. I would recommend it to everyone,â€� said CTE senior Shawn Mohammed from Shenendehowa.
Guilderland electrical trades senior Will Beddell said, "Attending CTE has given me the skills needed to survive and excel in the workforce and a make a real living.â€�
The above photo shows Mohammed working on a motor in HVAC/R class