LEXINGTON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- In a move to help produce a skilled workforce that businesses require today and in the future, Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday to overhaul the state’s career and technical education (CTE) system.
The order unites the state’s two CTE systems under the guidance of Kentucky’s Department of Education. The goal is to create a unified, more relevant and efficient system to educate and prepare students for the world of work in a real-life setting.
“Our students need an education system that provides job-training and learning opportunities that will put them on a career pathway. Transforming and elevating CTE is essential to this process. We must create a career and technical education system that is a first choice, not a last chance,” Beshear said.
The executive order is part of a larger effort to prepare students for a wider range of career options through high-quality CTE programs
“CTE can make the direct connection for students between education and jobs,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Joseph U. Meyer. “These programs offer learning opportunities that can inspire all students to explore careers and tackle more challenging courses.”
Studies show that graduation rates are higher among students who participate in CTE programs as opposed to those who do not. These high school graduates are then more likely to transition to post-secondary education or employment.
Seventy-five percent of Kentucky high school students, more than 150,000 pupils, were enrolled in career and technical education programs last year. Career and technical education – offering hands-on training in areas such as agriscience, machine tool technology, health sciences, electrical technology and business administration – is provided at 323 middle and high schools, area technology centers and career and technical centers across the state.