Our vision for career technical education is that all Vermont learners attain their post-secondary goals by having access to career and technical education systems that are equitable, efficient, integrated and collaborative.
We will achieve this by working toward these aspirational goals. Each goal will have a number of strategies:
Supporting only high-quality, rigorous, aligned CTE career pathway programs that are informed by available state, New England regional, and national labor market data.
Engaging industry as a full partner in the creation, validation and maintenance of CTE programs.
Developing and implementing career advisement systems that support career exploration and that allow all learners to be successful in pathways of interest.
Supporting collaboration among systems and promoting coordination between systems as a means of ensuring equity and of providing students with a high-quality experience.
Improving the public perception of CTE.
In February 2018, the Agency of Education started planning to develop and articulate a strategic direction for career technical education in the state. Our goal was to create a unifying vision that clearly states the role of CTE in the education and workforce development systems in Vermont. We believe a clearly articulated vision and goals will help school officials and policy makers make decisions about the opportunities that are available to students.
Phase one of the process involved collecting information from a variety of sources from across the state. We conducted 30 minute telephone interviews with a select group of individuals:
- CTE student and national gold medal winner in Skills USA from St. Johnsbury
- CTE student and Presidential Scholar from Bradford
- a parent of a student in a registered apprenticeship program from Barre
- a retired CTE counselor and State Workforce Development Board member from South Burlington
- an employer representative from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- a superintendent of schools from Rutland
- a technical center director
- the Chair of the State Board of Education
- the Chair of the State Workforce Development Board
- the Chair of the House Committee on Education.
As part of this information gathering process we released a fifty question online survey which was open from March 26 to April 9, 2018. The intent of the survey was to understand how citizens of the state perceive CTE. The survey was open and available to all interested parties with links on the Agency’s website and social media presences. CTE centers around the state encouraged their communities to respond to the survey as well. When the survey closed, there were 1,472 responses, representing perspectives from every county. The majority of responses came from parents, current high school students, classroom teachers and non-classroom teachers. The information from this survey and the interviews was used to develop the vision statement and related goals in Phase 2.
In April 2018, the Agency formed a steering committee to help interpret the results of Phase 1 and to guide the formation of the goals and strategies. The steering committee also played an important role as conversation facilitators at a statewide advisory meeting that was held in June 2018. The advisory meeting was held in Burlington in early June. The purpose of the advisory meeting was to convene a cross section of people, representing secondary education, colleges and universities, employers, policy makers, and workforce development entities. The advisory meeting resulted in the development of the goals and started to identify strategies that would need to be implemented to achieve the goals. The following individuals participated in the advisory meeting:
Chad Ahern, Vermont Chamber of Commerce/Vermont Futures Project
Oscar Aliaga, Agency of Education
Alex Beck, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
Pam Benoit, Benoit Electric
Heather Bouchey, Agency of Education
Laurel Butler, VT Small Business Development Center
Sarah Buxton, Department of Labor
Frank Cioffi, State Workforce Development Board
Sen. Allison Clarkson, General Assembly
Tricia Coates, Vermont State Colleges
Jess DeCarolis, Agency of Education
Jason DiGiulio, Lyndon Institute
Jason Gingold, Randolph Technical Career Center
Rick Hayden, Hazelett Strip-Casting Corp.
Bob Haynes, Green Mountain Economic Development Corp.
Krista Huling, State Board of Education
Joyce Judy, Community College of Vermont
Rebecca Kapsalis, University of Vermont Health Network
Lindsay Kurrle, Department of Labor
Rep. Mike Marcotte, General Assembly
Paul Millman, Chroma Technology
Pat Moulton, Vermont Technical College
Stephanie Peters, Southwest Career Development Center
Meg Powden, Two Rivers Supervisory Union
Jay Ramsey, Agency of Education
Peter Rowan, Hazelett Strip-Casting Corp.
Rep. Dave Sharpe, General Assembly
Doug Webster, Agency of Education
Leeann Wright, Northwest Technical Center
Greg Young, Agency of Education
John Young, Agency of Commerce & Community Development
The final step in the process was to hear directly from students and teachers in CTE centers. Stafford Technical Center in Rutland, Hartford Area Career and Technology Center in White River Junction, Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, and the Center for Technology in Essex volunteered to host Jay Ramsey, the State CTE Director on a listening tour. During these sessions the Agency heard from over 165 second year CTE students, representing perspectives from 27 high schools. Mr. Ramsey also heard from 43 CTE faculty members during this process. The information gathered from students and faculty was used to clarify or modify the goals and strategies to be reflective of the perspectives of the people who will be doing some of the work (teachers) and to ensure what we are doing makes sense to those for whom we do the work (students).
The final step in the process is to present to the State Board of Education and other policy makers. The Agency of Education will also begin conducting a review of policies and practices and make recommendations to the State Board of Education, and possibly the General Assembly, so that the vision can be achieved.
The CTE team, and the leadership of the Agency of Education would like to extend gratitude to everyone who was involved in the process of developing a vision and direction for CTE in Vermont.