AED Foundation Report: States Score Less-Than-Perfect on Career Technical Education Report Card

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

AED Foundation Report: States Score Less-Than-Perfect on Career Technical Education Report Card


Byline: Scott McPherson

Skills-based learning will increase students' lifetime earnings, but most states have work to do to better prepare students for technical careers, a new report from The AED Foundation finds. The study, released at 2017 CONEXPO and prepared by researchers at the College of William & Mary, details the economic benefits of career technical education (CTE) and suggests ways states can strengthen their CTE programs. Scored against eight best practices in skills training, only five states earned perfect "report cards."

The new report is a follow-up to a similar The AED Foundation/William & Mary study released last year that shed light on how one industry is being affected by the technical skills gap plaguing the entire U.S. economy. The 2016 study found the shortage of qualified equipment service technicians costs equipment dealers $2.4 billion per year in lost productivity and foregone economic opportunity.

"That lost revenue is money taken off of dealers' bottom lines and out of the pockets of the men and women who already work in our businesses," said Denny Vander Molen, The AED Foundation board chairman and president of Vermeer MidSouth, Inc. "It's lost opportunities and missed chances to pursue new customers and projects. That's investment removed from the supply chain, sending ripples across the entire economy and into every industry."

As part of its ongoing campaign to address the problem at the federal, state and local level, The AED Foundation commissioned the new analysis of state-level CTE policy, which identified eight "best practices", including local flexibility, academic integration and employer participation. Assessed against these factors, most states have opportunities to improve the quality and scope of their CTE. For employers looking to take advantage of existing resources, the report also includes a series of 50 state-level "play books," which identify key points of access to government resources that will help businesses utilize available programs to stimulate development of needed skills. …

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