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ACTE Statement on 100-Year Anniversary of Smith-Hughes Act


February 23, 2017

Media Contact: 
Jarrod Nagurka, ACTE
703-683-9312, jnagurka@acteonline.org 

ACTE Statement on 100-Year Anniversary of Smith-Hughes Act   

Alexandria, VA – Today, ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson released the following statement to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Smith Hughes National Vocational Education Act, the nation’s first federal investment in secondary CTE, which was signed into law on February 23, 1917:

“Every year, career and technical education (CTE) prepares millions of students for college and career success. Today, we celebrate the centennial of the Smith-Hughes Act and recognize the dramatic transformation within the CTE ecosystem over the last century – a transformation made directly in response to the needs of the American economy for upgraded skills.

“CTE students today are more likely to graduate from high school than their peers, and have strong academic, technical and employability skills. Unlike the “vocational education” of decades past, today 75 percent of secondary CTE concentrators go on to some type of postsecondary education. CTE is also helping to fill critical workforce shortages in both traditional career fields and in exciting new ones like cybersecurity, biomedical engineering and telecommunications. Businesses, local communities, students and the American economy alike all depend on accessible, rigorous, high-quality CTE.

“One hundred years ago the 64th Congress and President Woodrow Wilson laid the foundation for today’s CTE by making the nation’s first federal investment in secondary education that prepares students for career success. Today, the 115th Congress has the opportunity to continue this legacy by making investing in CTE a top priority.”

To mark February as CTE Month and to honor the Smith-Hughes centennial, The Hill published an opinion piece authored by Ms. Wilson, and last week the Senate unanimously passed a resolution.

Senate Resolution Honoring February 2017 as CTE Month, S. Res. 66

OPINION: 100 Years of Secondary Career Prep Success, The Hill, 2/23/17


About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.


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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.



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