Making the Case for Henrico CTE


Why is Henrico Career & Technical Education (CTE) an important and viable option for students and parents in Henrico County? It is because of what CTE stands for. From our over 100 elective programs for middle and high school students to our 30 Advanced Career Education Center (ACE) programs for our junior and senior students, CTE delivers three things to our students: Real Options for College and Careers, Real High School Experience with More Value, and Real World Skills. We accomplish this by building our programs around hands-on real-world experiences in our labs and combining those experiences with supportive classroom time.

To understand what CTE is today is to ask parents and students to examine the facts about Henrico CTE with new eyes and not the incorrect perceptions of many years ago. Did you know our programs cover everything from Marketing and Business programs to Photography and Web Development(ACE). Automotive Technology(ACE) and Accounting to Practical Nursing(ACE) and High Tech Academy(ACE) and many more. Follow this link for a list of all our programs from middle school to high school.

CTE prepares our students for college “and” career, not college “or” career. While colleges require that students have hundreds of hours of hands-on experience to qualify to be accepted into many of their programs, Henrico CTE can provide students that experience so they will be ready for the college of their choice and the career of their choice. Also, in today’s reality many experienced employees are aging out and there are not enough experienced young men and women to replace them. This has created a skills gap in many fields. CTE is educating and training our students to be ready to fill those jobs. Whether those jobs are white collar, blue collar, or new collar, CTE students will be ready.

CTE is staying ahead of the curve and changing with the times when it comes to the careers in today’s and tomorrow’s world. Traditionally, careers have been split between white collar and blue collar with white collar jobs getting most of the attention for decades. In today’s workplace something new has occurred. White- and blue-collar jobs have reached parity when it comes to pay. With the decade’s decline of skilled workers in this country their pay has in some cases surpassed white collar pay. Then comes the CEO of IBM with her pronouncement of the “New Collar” employee in 2017. The term “new collar job” was coined by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, and is a play on “white collar” and “blue collar” jobs, which refer to professional and skilled jobs, respectively. IBM has led the movement for new collar technology jobs, and now companies all over the country are making it policy. New Collar careers have blurred the line between white and blue collar with more and more businesses looking for candidates with skill sets that do not necessarily require a 4-year college degree but do require industry certification. Many of those certifications are available through Henrico CTE. Examples include but are not limited to: computer technologies, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, automotive technicians and many more. Henrico CTE stands ready to meet and exceed the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students here in Henrico County.

It stands to be repeated that Henrico CTE delivers real world options for college and rewarding careers. Our programs allow students to explore a range of options for their future both inside and outside the classroom. Through Henrico CTE, students can start their path toward a career that they are passionate about, while earning valuable experience, college credits and more. Henrico CTE students are more likely to have a post-high school plan, including college, than other students. Just 2% of CTE students say they “don’t know” what they will do after high school.

CTE delivers real-world skills with its unique opportunity for hands-on learning that puts students at the center of the action. Henrico CTE provides the skills and confidence students need to pursue career options, discover their passions, and get on a path to success. Students in Henrico CTE programs and their parents are three times as likely to report they are “very satisfied” with their children’s ability to learn real-world skills as part of their current education compared to parents not involved in CTE.

Henrico CTE delivers a real high school experience with more value. CTE programs are an important part of middle and high school and students can participate in CTE without sacrificing other activities they enjoy, such as sports, or the arts. Henrico CTE takes students even further during their high school experience, providing opportunities for specialized classes, internships, and networking with members of the community.

Henrico County Public Schools has always stressed the importance of testing. Student testing in a CTE program provides students with industry certifications, state licenses, and college credits. Each program is different but, as an example, many of our programs offer testing for multiple industry certifications such as our Computer Technology or Automotive Technologies programs. With at least 10 or more certification tests offered in each of these programs, each student can show their knowledge in many different specialties and have those certifications which will help them be competitive once they join the world of work after high school graduation or after they complete college.

Some of the most powerful testing tools available today are the NOCTI certification tests. Most of our CTE Programs use NOCTI tests when they are comparable with our curriculum. To find out more and how every NOCTI credential has been recommended for college credit by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), please click here.

Many employers stress that they are looking for potential hires with hands-on experience. Just like employers, colleges are requiring hundreds of hours of volunteer and practical work experience to apply to some of their programs. This is why Henrico CTE programs are important as students prepare for their future. We now know that CTE offers many programs starting as early as middle school. We know that CTE is best positioned to get students college and career ready with in-demand real-world work experience. CTE is ready for you. Choose CTE!