Indian River State College Celebrates CTE Month® - Indian River State College
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Indian River State College Celebrates CTE Month®

Indian River State College Celebrates CTE Month®

February 15, 2021 Melanie Coppola

Career and technical education can address workforce needs, especially amid the current disruption

Fort Pierce, FL—The month of February is widely recognized as Career and Technical Education Month® by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) as an opportunity to celebrate the value, achievements and accomplishments of programs across the country.

Nelly Spengler, IRSC Welding program graduate with peacock she welded that was in the 3rd annual Procession of the Species in 2019 in Downtown Fort Pierce.

Indian River State College (IRSC), along with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and its 28 Florida College System institutions and 48 technical colleges, continues to celebrate by sharing the stories of students who have successfully graduated from CTE programs into rewarding careers.

“At Indian River State College, we understand the importance of CTE and are expanding our campus and programs to better support the growing needs of our region,” shares Jane Kim, Dean of Workforce Education & Development at IRSC. “We are grateful to partner with local businesses to provide the necessary teaching and apprenticeships to further our students’ education.”

In September, FDOE launched its workforce education initiative Get There, aimed at raising awareness of short-term career and technical education programs and highlighting $35 million in funding made available to state and technical colleges in the form of rapid credentialing grants. These grants were designed to increase Florida's capacity to enroll and graduate students quickly, to aid in accelerated recovery for residents and the economy. 

“CTE Month provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the great work of our school districts and state colleges as they educate and help to prepare the future of Florida’s workforce,” said Henry Mack, Chancellor for Career, Technical and Adult Education. “With the pandemic impacting the lives of many residents, there is no better time to highlight how CTE can make a difference. CTE is equal parts engaging, exciting and transformative, and leads to better academic and employment outcomes.”

The current disruption has propelled the demand for CTE programs as many Floridians seeking reemployment are looking for opportunities to match their current skill sets to demand from employers. While the pandemic sparked a renewed focus on the importance of CTE, there are also opportunities to reach beyond those impacted and educate all Floridians about educational offerings available in the state.

“With CTE, there is something and somewhere for every Floridian,” shared Kathy Hebda, Chancellor of the Florida College System. “No matter age, ethnicity, educational background or employment and financial circumstance, we are committed to each student’s success and future, all while ensuring a talented workforce for our great state.”

At IRSC, students can enroll in an in demand, workforce program, gain a credential quickly and affordably move quickly, and gain critical skills needed in our region’s essential and emerging industries. IRSC has dozens of CTE programs that lead to licensure or certification for students, with programs ranging from Cosmetology to HVAC—many of which can be completed in less than a year. These programs include hands-on experience and participants can expect to develop increasingly sophisticated marketable skills as the program progresses.

In anticipation of growing regional workforce needs, IRSC broke ground on the Advanced Workforce Training Complex (AWTC) in December of 2020. The 50,000 square-foot Complex will be set on the southeast side of the College’s Massey Campus in Fort Pierce and will connect advanced technology and leading-edge industry training in fields such as manufacturing, automotive, aviation, marine technology, welding and more.

For more information about the Indian River State College CTE programs and the Advanced Workforce Training Complex, visit https://www.irsc.edu/programs/career-training-programs.html.

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