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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Career and technical education students showcase important role CTE plays in building state's talent pool

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LANSING, Mich. – Career and technical education students from across the state gathered under the Capitol dome Wednesday to show lawmakers the value of CTE in building Michigan’s talent pipeline.

From nursing preparation and cybersecurity programs, to culinary, marketing and engineering courses, Michigan's innovative thinkers and doers in career and technical education programs receive more than career-specific skills. CTE provides students with real-world application of subjects typically taught in the classroom and helps students build the 21st Century skills employers are desperately seeking.

Students working on robot

“Career and technical education better prepares all students for life after high school, no matter their post-secondary career path – be it a four-year degree, apprenticeship or specialized credential.” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis. “The annual CTE Showcase is the perfect opportunity for students and educators to get in front of lawmakers, show off the innovation happening around the state in these programs and break down the stereotypes and misperceptions surrounding career and technical education. This is a viable pathway for all students, not just some students.”

Since 2015, CTE programs in Michigan have added nearly 5,000 students, making the total number of high schoolers enrolled in these high-tech, innovative programs an impressive 109,000-plus in 2017.

“Michigan students thrive when they have an opportunity to see the practical application of academic content taught in the classroom,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. “Career-tech programs provide our educators with another tool to do just that, while playing a major role in developing the state’s talent of the future and preparing all students to become lifelong learners.”

As state leaders look to focus more on competency-based education, career and technical education leaders hope to use CTE course structures as pioneering examples.

“CTE programs have long-been a guiding example of competency-based education,” Alpena Public Schools CTE Director and CTE Showcase lead Joyce McCoy said. “We’re excited about all the momentum being built around these amazing programs. And being able to share the stories and products of these students today with our state’s leaders is a great way to highlight the value and merits of these innovative and rigorous programs.”

Programs participating in today’s showcase, include:


  • Lenawee Intermediate Tech Center’s Nursing Preparation course
  • Branch Area Career Center’s Electrical Technologies program
  • Marcellus Middle/High School’s  Digital and Multimedia Design program
  • Utica Community Schools’ Woodworking program
  • Newaygo County Career and Tech Center’s Mechatronics course
  • Muskegon Area Career and Tech Center’s Criminal Justice program
  • Wexford-Missaukee ISD’s Applied Construction Technology course
  • Wilson Talent Center/Ingham ISD’s Cybersecurity/Digital Forensics program         
  • Cheboygan High School’s Auto Maintenance & Light Repair class
  • Careerline Tech Center’s Marketing Sales and service program
  • St. Clair County Tech Center’s Welding Technology course
  • Detroit Cass Technical High School’s Graphic Communications program                 
  • Allegan County Tech Center’ Engineering/CAD/Mechanical Draft class
  • Owosso High School’s Culinary Arts course
  • Tuscola Area Career Center’s Culinary Arts program