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CTE: Career and Technical Education in Minnesota

2/7/2017 2:23:55 PM

Tim O'Neill

There are many well-known holidays, events, remembrances, and dedications in February including Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, the Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras and many others. Among the numerous observations and awareness pushes, February also happens to be Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in Minnesota. You may not have heard of this one yet.

From the Minnesota State website, CTE Month is a “public awareness national campaign held each February to celebrate CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs and students across the country.” Every week in February, the CTE Month Campaign in Minnesota will focus upon a unique theme:

  • Week of Feb. 1: College and career readiness tools
  • Week of Feb. 5: Success stories from students, educators, administrators, business and industry leaders, and the community
  • Week of Feb. 12: Partnerships
  • Week of Feb. 19: CTE news and resources to help other stay informed
  • Week of Feb. 26: Legislation, policy, and advocacy supporting CTE

From the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) website, CTE programs "offer academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training to succeed in future careers." Career fields being promoted in Minnesota include Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Arts, Communications, and Information Systems; Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology; Health Science Technology; Human Services; and Business, Management, and Administration. Each of these career fields can be further broken down into career clusters and pathways.

In 2016, nearly 250,000 Minnesota high school and college students enrolled in CTE courses focusing on these career fields, clusters, and pathways. Overall, there are nearly 50 community and technical colleges in Minnesota offering CTE. Within the metro area, these colleges include Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Anoka Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Century College, North Hennepin Community College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, Saint Paul College, Inver Hills Community College, and Dakota County Technical College.

Beyond resources available through MDE and Minnesota State, including CAREERwise Education, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has numerous job market tools for students, educators, administrators, and job-seekers interested in or involved in CTE. Some of these tools have been previously noted within the Local Look blog including DEED’s Occupations-in-Demand and Employment Outlook tools. One other tool of note includes DEED’s Graduate Employment Outcomes (GEO) tool, which shows how many Minnesota graduates are finding Minnesota jobs, and at what wages. All of these tools can be found on DEED’s website.

Using these resources in concert, students, job-seekers, and others can determine the right school programs and career pathways for them. This is especially important for workers looking to get back to work as quickly as possible. Some of these school programs and pathways may include CTE, which considering it is CTE month, should be highly considered.

For more information on careers in the Twin Cities, contact Tim O’Neill at or 651-259-7401.

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