Maine’s CTE centers have spent decades training the next generation of our state’s essential workforce
How many times have you heard the term “essential worker” over the last year? How many times have you heard about Career and Technical Education (CTE) over the last year?
You may already know that CTE centers around Maine have been training the next generation of our state’s essential workforce for decades – health care workers, HVAC technicians, small business owners, food services, mechanics, law enforcement, and so on. What you may not know is that many people still do not understand the countless benefits of joining a CTE program in landing a high-demand, high-wage job sooner rather than later. CTE students often go on to make more money in their careers than their counterparts. They enter the workforce with less debt, opening opportunities to start a business or buy a home. It is vital for our state to expand and highlight these opportunities to this next generation of high school students. Employers need highly skilled workers to help the Maine economy grow.
It is our mission as a program to promote the work of CTE centers all around the state and encourage students to explore those options. We look to continuously build new and valuable partnerships that will assist Maine’s students, schools, and employers in achieving their goals. There is so much potential that already exists around the state in creating these pathways for students, and we hope to help bridge the gaps by applying a more technical approach to planning their futures. Our students have graduated high school with an abundance of college credits under their belt, but it is not just about the credits, and it is not just for one type of student.
The experience of CTE and the Bridge Academy Maine program has prepared students with different backgrounds and interests to be successful in their desired careers well after high school. The ability to enter the workforce with less debt allows them to remain comfortable in those positions and confident to climb the career ladder. Utilizing publicly available workforce data, we aim to make students aware of the misconceptions of a CTE pathway, however the more information we have, the better. We know that high-wage jobs are in high-demand all around the state and ask for your help in growing that awareness and presenting it to students.
Increasing promotion of Maine’s CTE centers and our Bridge Academy Maine program network will better impact student’s understanding of the opportunities available to them in high school, as well as helping our graduates find valuable internships and jobs. We encourage everyone to join us in the effort to share more information about the impact of a CTE program, whether it is someone you know who has benefitted, your local CTE center, etc. or current opportunities that would benefit CTE students. One way to do this is on social media – please follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, our website, and re-share our material. We also encourage anyone to connect with us directly regarding any opportunities or resources that might benefit Bridge students, or ideas to partner with our program or a CTE center directly. Make your mission, our mission. We can do this together!