MBAE has long been a supporter of career and vocational technical education and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act which was reauthorized by Congress and signed into law on July 31, 2018. MBAE was one of nearly 500 corporations, business associations, state and local chambers and allied organizations to sign onto a letter urging the Senate to Support the Perkins CTE Reauthorization and focus on improving and modernizing the program by:
• Aligning CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state and local labor market;
• Supporting effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
• Increasing student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
• Promoting the use of industry-recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials.
The revisions to the law will help CVTE schools adapt to meet changing workforce demands. Massachusetts career and vocational technical schools are already meeting many of these challenges. In a 2016 survey conducted by the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education and Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, employers said Massachusetts CVTE graduates possess the skills they are seeking for their workforce. MBAE is working to extend these benefits to all Massachusetts students.
We are launching an initiative supported by the bill to promote the use of industry-recognized credentials and collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers. Industry-recognized credentials (IRC) are used by employers to certify that an applicant is qualified for a job. Students who earn industry certifications have an advantage finding high-demand jobs with good wages because the certifications are globally portable and signal job-readiness to employers. MBAE’s career readiness initiative – Credentials for Success – is designed to expand opportunities for all high school students to earn IRCs that place them on a path to careers in high demand fields.
Partnerships and collaboration between schools, employers and higher education is crucial to ensuring all students leave high school with the skills for success in postsecondary education or the workplace. Partnerships are essential to ensure that students from traditional schools have an opportunity to access career and vocational technical skills.