CTE programs aren’t just for blue collar jobs: “We’re a rainbow of collar colors”

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Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are preparing New Hampshire’s students for a wide variety of careers, from biomedical engineering to advanced manufacturing. Frank Xydias, an engineering teacher at Milford High School, was recognized as teacher of the year by iRobot last month and highlighted the shift in CTE.

From NH CTE:

Receiving the accolade because a former students nominated him with a letter, Xydias said the experience was made possible in part by a school with a philosophy that enables students to discover different career pathways.

In a CTE environment, he said he hopes the general public begins to recognize the nature of these pathways, which are no longer just labor-intensive. Rather, many of them focus on advanced technology and skill sets that require college training.

“Students in CTE no longer go ‘right to work,’” he said. “These students ‘go to college.’ CTE prepares students for essential work ready, career-ready skills and helps them develop an essential understanding of their chosen career pathway.”

He cited a close partnership between CTE programs and community colleges, too.

“CTE schools partner with all 7 community colleges and have community partners to help make the programs successful,” he said. “These community partners recognize the value in education and continuing education for a diminishing workforce…”

While excited that he received recognition at Fenway Park, Xydias is more enthused at the growth and relevance of CTE.

“30 years ago, there were only two types of career collars that were recognized–blue and white,” he said. “Blue collar became synonyms with vocational and labor intensive and eventually CTE. CTE, though, is not blue collar any longer. We are a rainbow of collar colors and we wear many hats.”

In moving away from the concept of ‘blue and white’ regarding career development. Xydias said CTE fully embodies the spectrum of career development.”

“CTE provides specialized training that requires educational planning for career and college advancement,” he said. “If you were to go to LinkedIn, you would be amazed at diversity of collar colors today.”

Learn more about CTE in New Hampshire:

Source: Removing the Blue around the Collar | NH CTE