Explicitly Connect CTE & HS

How might we eliminate stereotypes and misinformation about CTE programs being "less than" a traditional HS and being equivalent partners!

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[full disclosure: I'm not sure what to do next with this idea.  But this is an issue I hear about and see a lot, so how might we break down these streotypes that do significant harm? ]


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Matthew Drewette-Card Card and Lisa Abel-Palmieri 
I don't know if you are familiar with the various Skills organizations out there, but some 75 countries around the world are part of World Skills (www.worldskills.org). 

Check out this video for some info: https://youtu.be/cHD1d9zkxiA

A colleague and myself attended the Skills Ontario event last year. It was simply amazing. There were some many different things going on.

Students and young apprentices from grade 4 though those up to 23 years old are able to participate in day long competitions, with about 45 skilled trades represented. These competitions were a great experience for the students, and with about 20,000 spectators watching them, it gave a sense of value to the trades they were participating in.

There were also a couple conferences happening. One was geared towards young women and the other to First Nations students. These provided participants with an opportunity to connect with successful women and First Nations mentors that could talk with them about the paths they followed.

Along with competitions and conferences, there was a Career Exploration Showcase that included businesses, colleges, apprenticeship programs, unions and government programs providing information for everyone about what they had to offer.

The whole event was an amazing opportunity for everyone in attendance to learn about the value of and opportunities provided by skills trades.

It was such a motivating experience that this spring my colleague and myself have been working to help organize and bring some 40 students on the 8 hour trip to participate in the event.

I think if we can promote these skills events, and possibly create some local events to provide event more access, students and those guiding them will see the importance and value of career and technical education to students of all ability levels.

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