Group will champion career and technical education’s role in economic recovery and diversifying and expanding the US IT workforce
Downers Grove, Ill., February 10, 2021 – CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce, today announced the formation of a new council to lead a national dialog focused on accelerating career pathways in technology.
The CompTIA National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Council will include representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“We strongly believe that CTE will play a critical role in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated household finances and changed educational plans for many families,” said Angel L. Piñeiro Jr., vice president, strategic academic relationships, at CompTIA. “With the help of an elite group of educators and other leaders we intend to raise national awareness of CTE as a creator of opportunities for careers that will provide a better way of life for multiple generations to come and to do so in a way that addresses digital inequity head-on.”
Today’s announcement comes during Career and Technical Education Month®, a public awareness campaign to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. It is organized by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.
“ACTE commends CompTIA on the formation of its National CTE Advisory Council and the commitment to advance a national dialogue to accelerate Tech Pathways,” said LeAnn Wilson, ACTE executive director. “This national partnership model reflects the recommendations in ACTE’s high-quality CTE Framework and the type of engagement that all industries should be involved in to help prepare learners for future employment.”
More than 30 individuals representing 22 states have already joined the CompTIA CTE Advisory Council, including educators from Mississippi and Texas.
“The possibilities are limitless for students enrolled in career technical programs,” said new council member Shirlaurence D. Fair, director of career and technical education for the Clarksdale Municipal School District in Clarksdale, Miss.
“The 2020 pandemic exposed the shortage of essential workers and the need for a more skilled workforce,” Fair added. “For America to remain a superpower, we must offer all students, especially minorities, access to career technical education. Strategic partnerships with schools, businesses and community are the key to workforce development and building a brighter future for all.”
“At no other time in history has it been more critical to have information technology, computer science and cybersecurity programming in our schools,” said Johnny Vahalik, senior executive director for college, career and military readiness with the San Antonio Independent School District in Texas and council member.
“Technology is embedded into our daily lives and a required skill for every in-demand, high-wage career,” Vahalik continued. “We must prepare students to ethically utilize technology in their daily lives and work, and we must provide students the skill and knowledge to protect themselves and others from the many threats that this generation faces and will continue to face.”
In January U.S. employers advertised more than 232,000 job openings for core IT positions. These openings occurred in virtually every industry sector and included positions in software and application development, IT support, systems engineering and architecture and IT project management.
“CTE holds great promise as the solution to fill this need, and to do so in a way that minimizes the cost of acquiring skills and accelerates the process of preparing people with the employability skills that allow them to contribute from day one on the job,” said Piñeiro.
“The Technology Student Association values CompTIA's support of IT careers through its many educational initiatives,” said Dr. Rosanne White, TSA executive director. “By assembling a group of national stakeholders to explore emerging tech, best practices, workforce development and diversity, the council’s efforts will help administrators, educators and students with a dedicated interest in career and technical education.”
The CompTIA National CTE Advisory Council intends to design strategies to diversify the tech workforce and shape the future of CTE tech curriculum. Areas of focus include technology trends and emerging tech, best practices for instruction, professional development for instructors, credentialing and certification programs, grants and other funding sources, articulation agreements and connecting with industry employers.
CompTIA will recruit three representatives from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to join the council. Members will serve two-year terms.
CTE teachers, directors and state department of education representatives from across the country are invited to apply for council membership. For more information visit https://certs.comptia.org/comptia-national-advisory-council/.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org.