CTE Supports New Common "Career Ready" Statement

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The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has joined with nearly 30 other national business, education, policy and philanthropic organizations to support a common statement on career readiness.

"The coalition fosters the common vision, understanding and partnerships needed to ensure all students and adults are truly career ready, a focus which is central to ACTE’s own mission,” Jan Bray, Executive Director of ACTE.

The Association for Career and Technical Education has joined with nearly 30 other national business, education, policy and philanthropic organizations to support a common statement on career readiness. The paper, titled “Building Blocks for Change: What it Means to be Career Ready,” helps to define what it means to be career ready in the 21st century and unites and amplifies a common voice around the often referenced, but not always fully understood, term.

In 2010, ACTE released a “What is Career Ready?” definition outlining three broad sets of skills students need to be career-ready: core academic skills, employability skills and technical skills. ACTE created the definition to broaden the national discussion around the topic. Several states have referenced the ACTE definition as a starting point in developing their policies. The new “Building Blocks for Change” statement provides a more detailed description of career readiness while building on the foundational elements outlined in ACTE’s original definition.

“ACTE has been actively engaged in the Career Ready Partner Council since its formation because we believe career readiness is central to what today’s education system must be about” said Executive Director Jan Bray. “The coalition fosters the common vision, understanding and partnerships needed to ensure all students and adults are truly career ready, a focus which is central to ACTE’s own mission,” said Bray.

Now that organizations are uniting on the common “career ready” understanding, ACTE is eager to continue the work of the Council to identify actions that will help support more career ready-friendly policies to support students and adults. ACTE’s own strategic plan includes focus on business-education partnerships, workforce and economic development initiatives and identification of the best ways to assess skills attainment, issues central to career readiness. “We look forward to continuing partnerships with many on the Council as well as those who did not participate in the development of the statement,” said Bray.

Clarifying the understanding about career readiness will help policymakers craft more meaningful policies to address the needs of both students and employers and will provide parents and students a better indication of what is needed to be successful in today’s challenging job market. “Central to the discussion is better connection between the academic and work worlds, which have sometimes existed in silos,” said Bray.

About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. It provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members including teachers, counselors and administrators at the middle school, high school and postsecondary levels.

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Ashley Parker
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