W.Va. Department of Education to Connect Career Technical Education Students with Employers

February 22, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is using technology to connect career technical students with potential employers through a newly developed website.

The Employers’ Portal is a streamlined website which allows employers to quickly explore lists of career pathways, view skill sets for each pathway, locate career centers and high schools where training occurs, and connect with a contact person at each facility. The portal can be found by visiting www.wvcareerpathways.com. The portal is accessible from any web browser, delivering its content to screen sizes on cell phones, notebooks, laptops and other devices.

“Today’s career and technical centers must prepare students for a global economy that is vastly different from the environment that ushered in public school vocational education nearly a century ago,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Career and technical education now is characterized by ever-changing market demands, increasingly sophisticated technology and a need for a more thorough knowledge of business rather than narrow job tasks.”

The Employers’ Portal benefits all stakeholders by allowing business and Industry to locate qualified and credentialed potential employees and assist in the alignment of CTE education with a changing work force. Career and technical Instructors can advise their students of employment trends, create placement opportunities for graduates and align programs and skill sets to better meet employer needs. Students can increase their opportunities for employment, training and growth.

Nationwide, some 14.4 million secondary and postsecondary students are enrolled in career and technical classes, including more than 160,000 high school students and more than 170,000 adults in West Virginia. Each year about 25 percent of all high school seniors in West Virginia graduate with four or more career technical courses.

Students enrolled in career and technical education gain foundational knowledge and skills for a wide range of careers, including entrepreneur; automotive technician; architect; carpenter; nursing; dental; medical technician; careers related to food and fiber production and agribusiness; culinary arts; management and life skills; marketing; technology; welder, electrician; and engineering.

The West Virginia Department of Education recognizes the important role career technical education plays. That’s one reason the WVDE is working with the West Virginia Manufacturers Association as well as the oil and gas and mining industries to create career pathways, credentials and skill training to prepare students for a future with these industries.  The programs of study provide a skill-based foundation needed for gainful employment or postsecondary education options.

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education's Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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