CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator
573-751-3469

Vol. 45, No. 8

February 2, 2011

 

Missourians Encouraged to Learn Today, Earn Tomorrow  
Job Shadow Day blizzard? No problem – job shadow anytime.

Career and Technical Education Month logo

“Learning Today, Earning Tomorrow” is this year’s theme for Career and Technical Education Month. The annual February observance highlights how career and technical education programs are educating and training students with the academic and technical skills to be college and career ready and compete in today’s job market.

The national career tech month begins with National Job Shadow Day (Feb. 2) and includes national observances for FCCLA, FFA, SkillsUSA and Entrepreneurship weeks.

“Don’t let a blizzard freeze out your plans for job shadowing,” said Dr. Sharon Hoge, assistant commissioner of College and Career Readiness at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Job shadowing can be done any time of year,” she reminds students and parents.

As the economy continues to improve, national, state and local workforce developers are concerned that the unemployed or underemployed workers will lack the academic and technical skills necessary for the new high-demand jobs projected by 2018. According to the Missouri Economic Research Information Center, the number of jobs that will require a postsecondary credential in 2008 was nearly 867,000. That number is projected to grow to nearly 933,000 jobs by 2018, an increase of nearly 8 percent.

According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, more than 150,000 Missouri students participate in career-oriented education programs each year. In addition, nearly 78,000 adults participate in postsecondary CTE programs offered at community colleges and area career centers. Career education programs provide skills and technical training in a broad range of programs, including skilled technical sciences, information technology, business, agriculture, health and consumer sciences.

“Career and Technical Education programs provide students with rigorous academic and technical skills which prepare students for the workforce,” Hoge said. “In addition, critical thinking skills, problem-solving, collaboration, communication and creativity are valuable lessons students learn in CTE courses. These skills prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders.”

Education officials encourage students and adults to plan ahead by exploring career interest areas and setting goals to achieve the education they will need for success. School and workforce development counselors can assist with the process, Hoge said. DESE also sponsors a free career exploration website at missouriconnections.org.