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Vol. 44, No. 11

February 9, 2010

Career Education Month Reminds

Students:  “Invest in Your Future”

While budget struggles are being felt by families and governments everywhere, students are being reminded this month to invest in their own futures.

“Invest in Your Future” is this year’s theme for Career and Technical Education Month.  The month-long February observance includes the kick-off of “Job Shadow 2010” and concludes with the fourth annual National Entrepreneurship Week, Feb. 21-27.

“For students, the first step to ‘investing in your future’ is to set your sights on a career goal.  Then, work with your school advisors to develop a personal education plan that will make you both college- and career-ready,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Chris L. Nicastro.  “Taking rigorous courses, participating in school activities, and investing the time to study will pay big dividends in the long-run.”

Well-trained and highly-skilled workers will be the best poised to obtain high-wage jobs over the next five to 10 years, according to a 2009 White House Economic Advisory Council Report, Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow.

“Business and industry are looking for highly skilled workers for high-demand careers.  Career and technical education is a key in helping fulfill this need,” said Tom Quinn, assistant commissioner of Career Education at the Missouri Department of Education.

In their public addresses last month, the president and governor both emphasized that preparing students to succeed in college and the workplace is a top priority.  Gov. Nixon called for a workforce that’s “ready-to-roll and second-to-none.” President Obama emphasized that a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job.  “In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program is a world-class education,” he said in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address.

During the 2008-09 school year, more than 200,000 Missouri students (about 60% of public high school students) participated in career-oriented education programs. More than 110,000 adults and postsecondary students also took part in career development programs in public high schools, area career centers, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities.

The Department will broadcast public service announcements this month encouraging students to explore careers and invest in their futures.