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Governor Whitmer, LEO proclaim February as Career & Technical Education Month

February 1, 2022
Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity Press Release

LANSING, Mich.-With more than 530,000 Michigan jobs in the professional trades by 2028, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in proclaiming February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.

CTE offers high school and college students hands-on training that can be applied to real-world career pathways. During the month of February, students of all ages are encouraged to explore viable programs across the state that prepare them for successful career entry, advancement and continuing education. 

"Many career pathways can lead to a rewarding future, and we are committed to making sure all Michigan students can access and explore the many options available to them," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "Career and technical education programs offer academic, technical and real-world skills that prepare our high school and college students for success today and rewarding, high-demand careers in the future. We will continue putting Michiganders first by making investments in programs like Michigan Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners and Going PRO, to put more people on paths to good-paying jobs." 

High schools, colleges and some universities across Michigan offer CTE programs that are aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers in fields such as information technology, healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing. Most high school programs also offer early college credit opportunities to provide a seamless transition to postsecondary education.

"CTE programs prepare students for career opportunities that require skilled employees," said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO's Office of Employment and Training. "The education and hands-on training CTE students receive gives them a head start on their pathway to a certificate in professional trades, registered apprenticeships or a college degree."

In the 2020-2021 school year,102,986 secondary students were enrolled in 2,093 CTE programs. More than 95% of students who concentrated in a secondary CTE program graduated from high school, compared to Michigan's statewide graduation rate of 82.1%.

According to the 2020-2021 follow up survey (six months after exiting high school), CTE concentrators reported a placement rate of 93.4%. Specifically, 67.5 % of CTE concentrators were continuing their education, 57.1% were employed, 3% were in the military, and 0.1% were participating in national, community service or the Peace Corp. In addition, 70.5% of them reported that they were using the skills learned in their CTE programs for continuing education or in their current job. 
MDE also offers Early Middle Colleges (EMCs) in Michigan. In 2020-2021, 15,308 students were enrolled in EMCs, with 1,461 CTE Early Middle College students. Overall, 82% of Michigan's EMC 2020 graduates earned 46+ college credits. 

"The number of students completing CTE programs has risen from 35,557 in 2015-16 to 44,226 in 2020-21, a jump of 24 percent," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "Michigan students are choosing not simply to explore but to develop knowledge and skills by completing full CTE programs, an acknowledgment of the importance of CTE programs to their futures."

Postsecondary institutions in Michigan have more than 450 qualifying CTE programs, offering a certificate or associates degree. During the 2020-2021 school year, there are 117,797 students enrolled in these postsecondary programs in the state.

Students, parents, educators and life-long learners interested in exploring career options, training, wages and projected openings should visit Michigan's free online career exploration tool, Pathfinder. Additional high school CTE resources and information may be found on MDE's website.

Also check out MiSchoolData.org, the State of Michigan's official source for pre-K, K-12, postsecondary and workforce data to help residents, educators and policymakers make informed decisions to improve student success.

CTE ties into Gov. Whitmer's Sixty by 30 goal, which aims to increase the percentage of adults in the state with a postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2030.