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A Virtual Visit to Help Celebrate Career and Technical Education Month

February 12, 2021 12:00 AM
By: PDE Press and Communications Office

CTE Month

On February 12, Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega visited Pittsburgh Public Schools on the virtual Schools That Teach Tour to celebrate career and technical education (CTE) teachers as part of CTE Month. During his visit, he recognized teachers and staff for their commitment to student success throughout the pandemic. 

“Through CTCs, we’ve seen networks built in communities across the commonwealth that fulfill local workforce needs, provide students with opportunities to learn alongside trained professionals, and promote the valuable role technical education plays in our educational system,”Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega said. “It is through these achievements and more that work toadvance the narrative that students can pursue numerous pathways to postsecondary success.” 

Pittsburgh Public Schools CTE educators created take-home educational toolkits for their students, which offered continued, hands-on skills development opportunities while school buildings were closed. 

“I continue to be impressed everyday by the incredible ingenuities of our teachers to engage students in new ways during this pandemic - take-home educational toolkits are a perfect example of innovative solutions to challenges for students studying everything from carpentry to the culinary arts.” Ortega added. 

Celebrated annually each February, CTE Month helps raise awareness of the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.  

Career and technical education centers (CTC) prepare students for high-wage, high-demand careers through rigorous academic courses as well as hands-on learning opportunities. A career in technical education covers several fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management, and more. 

In November, PDE awarded approximately $1.2 million in competitive grants to 34 CTCs across the state for the purchase of new equipment aligned to training students in high-demand occupations. The purpose of the grant is to purchase equipment aligned with the needs of local employers for use in PDE-approved CTE programs and to provide hands-on training to students in those programs. The maximum grant award allowed under the program is $50,000; each grant must be matched dollar-for-dollar from a local source which could include local school funds or contributions from business and industry partners; and score 80 points or above on the quality review. 

In 2019-20, CTE students earned a total of 33,769 industry certifications – a 65% increase since 2012-13. Of the total 68,105 CTE students in the 2019-20 school year, 19,338 CTE students (28.4 percent) of the total secondary CTE student enrollment earned industry certifications. 

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