Valdosta City School District

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ACTE Statement on 100-Year Anniversary of Smith-Hughes Act

“CTE students today are more likely to graduate from high school than their peers, and have strong academic, technical and employability skills. Unlike the “vocational education” of decades past, today 75 percent of secondary CTE concentrators go on to some type of postsecondary education. CTE is also helping to fill critical workforce shortages in both traditional career fields and in exciting new ones like cybersecurity, biomedical engineering and telecommunications. Businesses, local communities, students and the American economy alike all depend on accessible, rigorous, high-quality CTE.

CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States and includes high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges, four-year universities and more. CTE is a major part of the solution to myriad national economic and workforce problems, such as high school dropout rates, a weakened economy, global competitiveness, and massive layoffs. At a time when opportunity for employment is so critical, CTE programs in every community are ensuring students are equipped with the skills to successfully enter the workforce. 

This year’s tagline is: Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow! CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE makes students college- and career- ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields.

VHS has nearly 60 students who are dually enrolled in CTE programs on the VHS and Wiregrass campuses. “The CTAE programs offered through our local high schools provide students with practical, real world courses that help them become better prepared for college and careers,” shared Brooke Jaramillo, Director of Recruitment and High School Services.  “Students who take these courses while in high school usually perform better in their college programs once they enroll at Wiregrass Georgia Tech.  They usually graduate on time with much success, and are ready to enter the workforce at higher rates of pay than other students their age. The CTAE teachers and administrators in our service area work tirelessly to prepare students for their next steps in college and careers. Wiregrass is honored to partner with high school CTAE programs.”

VHS School Counselor, Brian Law, is serving a three year, elected term at the national level on the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Board of Directors. He represents the Southern Region of the United States (Region 2).  ACTE is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors and others at all levels of education.  Law commented, “CTE is a vital part of education and the workforce. It prepares students to be successful in their futures in the many programs which enables students to be productive citizens and impact the future economy of the United States. As we face the retirement of the baby boomer population, these college and career ready students will fill the jobs which are becoming more technology based with rigorous training as well as many jobs that have not yet been created through the advancements in innovations.”