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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Illinois CTE School Hosts Congressmen

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February 26, 2014

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Illinois CTE School Hosts Congressmen

On Monday, Feb. 24, Illinois’ Madison County Career and Technical Education System hosted a roundtable discussion with Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) at Lewis and Clark Community College in Edwardsville, IL. In addition to the congressional representatives, the roundtable also featured local and regional school administrators and business and industry partners. 

The discussion aimed to bring attention to the ways in which career and technical education is preparing students for careers and further education in STEM fields. Participants suggested that often, the STEM ideals being discussed in public policy are too narrowly focused on four-year degree pathways, which leaves many CTE programs currently preparing students with shorter-term credentials stigmatized as lesser, “dead-end” pathways.

Many of the panelists, including Reps. Shimkus and Davis, agreed that if we are to close the skills gap, we must educate parents and students about the benefits of CTE and make those programs more available to students.

School visits and discussions such as this one are going a long way in bringing policymakers’ attention to the often unknown or misunderstood benefits of CTE. If you’d like to make a difference and host an event for Members of Congress, or if you are already planning a community event and would like to invite your Members, please feel free to reach out to me at bdesetti@acteonline.org for any assistance.

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