Alachua County Public Schools celebrates Career and Technical Education Month

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – Students and faculty at all Alachua County middle and high schools will join others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. CTE Month highlights the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across Florida.

“In partnership with the Florida Department of Education, we are highlighting the rigor, relevance, and success of the CTE courses we offer,” said Shannon Ritter, the district’s director of College and Career Pathways. “We know the impact these programs have on our economy, and we will continue collaborating with local and state leaders, businesses, and industry partners to provide our students with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees and future leaders.”

Magnet open houses for the district’s CTE programs were held during the month of January, offering students and parents the opportunity to learn more about them. Families are now in the process of completing applications for all magnet programs in the district, which are due February 14. More information on the programs and application process is available at www.sbac.edu/magnet.

By 2030, Florida will be home to 26 million residents, with one of the most diverse populations in the United States. It is now the third most populous state in the nation and home to the 16th largest economy in the world. According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce 2030 Blueprint, Florida needs to create 1.63 million net new jobs by 2030. That number includes the types of occupations that are currently in demand and will be in the future, including many jobs that are experiencing significant shortages of skilled workers.

As teachers prepare CTE students for their future careers as skilled professionals, students engage in hands-on learning with real-life applications. These approaches to teaching are linked to greater understanding, comprehension, and retention.

CTE offers a way for students to gain skills and earn certifications in some of Florida’s most critical and desirable industries. CTE programs can set individuals on a career path in less time than traditional post-secondary education and with less cost. 

In Florida, there are currently nearly 800,000 K-12 CTE students – the highest in the state’s history. In Alachua County’s middle and high schools, more than 5,000 students are participating in CTE programs and courses covering a wide range of fields, including robotics, information technology, healthcare, automotive, culinary, law enforcement, and many, many others. Last year, ACPS middle and high school students earned more than 3,000 career certifications.