DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Monday, February 23, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

CTE Month Celebrates School-to-Work Training Investments For High School Students

Wisconsin's innovative school-to-work programs are preparing students to graduate from high school with real world employment experiences while partnering with a technical college for short-term training or a two-year degree. To highlight how these programs are moving the state's economy forward, Governor Walker proclaimed February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.

It has been ingrained in us for decades that career success requires a four-year degree from a college or university. While undergraduate and graduate studies are important, Wisconsin businesses also require highly trained skilled workers to fill good-paying, in-demand jobs that offer rewarding careers with opportunities for professional growth. As parents, educators, and business and community leaders, we need to be aware of the multiple pathways available for youth to explore and pursue postsecondary education and career goals.

Governor Walker and the state Legislature understand that Wisconsin's talent development strategies require strong CTE programs to build a robust pipeline of skilled workers and address the skills gap. Last year, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) provided Wisconsin youth with expanded access to quality dual-enrollment and work-based learning opportunities through targeted state investments totaling $2.2 million for Youth Apprenticeship (YA) funding increases and $2.1 million for Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) school-to-work grant awards. In addition, a second round of WFF grants was recently announced with up to $3 million available in 2015 to support CTE projects that lead to industry recognized credentials in high demand fields.

DWD's innovative, demand-driven CTE training solutions are valued by employers, educators, students and parents throughout the state. These solutions prepare high school students for postsecondary education and career success, and they fuel business and grow Wisconsin's economy. Last year, the YA program supported work-based learning opportunities at nearly 1,800 businesses across 10 career clusters for more than 2,500 youth. In partnership with YA regional consortiums, DWD anticipates exceeding these impressive outcomes this year.

During Career and Technical Education Month, I look forward to visiting schools across the state and the students who are excelling through work-based learning. The successful CTE programs in place today serve as shining examples for the rest of the state to follow.

I encourage parents to contact their school district to learn about local CTE options.

Visit DWD's YouTube site here to hear directly from students on the benefits of school-to-work programming.

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