February is Career and Technical Education Month

Students who choose career and technical training build essential vocational skills and get an education that expands their personal success, and help strengthen the economic health of our region and the country.

February is Career and Technical Education Month—a time when schools across the country celebrate the programs that prepare their students for the workforce and help further their education.

Once considered an educational route for just those students seeking to build vocational skills, career and technical education is now a pathway for any and all looking to gain in-demand career and life skills that position them for entering their chosen profession and/or to  jump-start a college education.

At Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE), more than 70 percent of high school students pursue higher education, while many others directly enter the workforce with a highly technical skill set.

“CTE gives me a good opportunity and experience to see what it’s actually like working in a dealership,” said senior Leon Bhajan, a senior in our Auto Trades program who is taking part in work-based learning at Destination Nissan in Albany.

“I work in the shop, doing whatever they need me to do. The other day I helped someone put a motor in a car. It is a lot of hands-on work and real experiences,” he said. “It’s great to get out of school and get this experience.”

For 2013 graduate John Broadus, CTE meant a guaranteed career in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) field.

“There are a lot of possibilities in the trade. It’s recession-proof and I am doing quite well,” Broadus said.

Through our career and technical schools, we offer nearly three dozen programs that prepare students for specific careers, and help them build essential skills in communications, interviewing and time management.

Those programs are guided by input CTE receives from members of the business community who serve on nearly 20 different advisory panels that guide the curriculum and planning, and provide work-based learning opportunities for students.

A key example of the BOCES CTE-business partnership is the Engineering Technician program that was launched in 2017 and was the result of a partnership between BOCES and GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The program trains students for careers at the high tech giant and other employers in the region and beyond.

“There’s a demand among business leaders across the region and state to place an emphasis on college- and career-readiness,” said Jeff Palmer, director of career and technical education. “The programs we offer include everything from culinary and welding to electrical trades, auto body repair and internet application design. But they also emphasize life skills that apply to whatever career a student pursues.”

“It’s about preparing students for life,” he added.

Visit our Career and Technical Schools

Throughout the months of February and March, our career and technical schools are hosting a series of open house events—on-site and virtually—where prospective students and their families can learn more about all we have to offer. Learn more about upcoming open house events at our Career and Technical Schools and arrange to visit with us soon.