The Maricopa County Supervisors recently approved $1.29 million in funding to help provide career and technical educational opportunities to high school students in Mesa Public Schools.
The approval Jan. 26 was a week before the start of CTE Month, an observation held each February to bring awareness to the important role that career and technical education plays for students and the economy, according to a release.
“There’s more than one path to career success. While college or military service is the right fit for some young men and women, others are focused on joining the workforce,” Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4, said in the release. “This investment provides students in Mesa an opportunity to get skills in a specific field, even before they graduate high school.”
Career and technical education directly prepares students for in-demand careers in many of the fields that power today’s economy – including health care, information technology, hospitality, and advanced manufacturing. Through CTE programs, high school students can explore potential career pathways to find their passion while they gain real-world skills.
CTE programs help students enhance their high school experience and get a jump on their post-secondary education. They can earn college credit during high school and build confidence for their college and career pathways after post-graduation.
“I’m a big advocate of providing our students real-world skills to complement what they learn in textbooks,” Supervisor Thomas Galvin, who represents Mesa and the rest of District 2, said in the release. “By making investments in career and technical pursuits, and saying no to one-size-fits-all education, we are more inclusive of children of all backgrounds, interests, and learning styles.”
The funding, part of Maricopa County’s America Rescue Plan Act allocation, will enable Mesa Public Schools to implement a new model for CTE courses that will offer career exploration and navigation, connection to community colleges, universities, and trade/technical schools, as well as career guidance.
The funding for Mesa Public Schools complements other recent investments by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to bolster career development opportunities for county residents including a recent $6.4 million program to support career pathways for eligible students at Maricopa County Community Colleges, $12 million in funding to expand apprenticeship opportunities and a $14.5 million investment for training and credentialing workers for in-demand career fields, the release states.
For more information on the workforce and other support programs available, go to Maricopa.gov/HSD and find financial, housing, legal, wellness, and educational assistance available at Maricopa.gov/Rescue.