February is National Career and Technical Education Month. To raise awareness, the Indiana FFA Association and other Career and Technical Student Organizations assembled at the Statehouse and met with lawmakers about the important role CTE plays in readying students for college and their careers.
One of the highlights of their visit was being recognized by members of the Indiana General Assembly with a resolution in the House Chamber, authored by State Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany).
“Career and technical education is critical to the future success of our state and communities, and it should be recognized as an option for all students,” Clere said. “CTE opens countless doors, and organizations such as FFA give students a chance to explore career options and develop relationships. This resolution provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of CTE and celebrate student achievement.”
Career and Technical Student Organizations, like FFA, are integrated into a school’s CTE programs and courses, and extend learning through innovative programs, experiences, competitions and more. They are student-driven, and primarily based in high schools and career technology centers.
Indiana has eight such programs that serve more than 24,000 students across the state. According to the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations, 94 percent of students that participate in these types of programs graduate from high school.
“These organizations are a great avenue for growing Indiana’s career ready workforce,” said Rob Hays, Indiana FFA Association Director. “The skills and knowledge students gain will last them a lifetime, and FFA is proud to be a part of that experience.”
Indiana FFA offers more than 200 activities to help prepare its members for their next stage in life. Through Career Development Events and Supervised Agricultural Experiences, the students are able to apply what they learn in the classroom, gain real world experience and develop the skills necessary to pursue meaningful careers, ranging from biotechnology to mechanics to agricultural communications.
They are also able learn soft skills, such as teamwork, complex problem solving and public speaking, and develop as leaders.
“FFA has instilled a lifetime of connections and networking for me,” said Nathan Deatrick, Indiana FFA State Officer. “It has gotten me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow into the leader that I am today.”
The eight Career and Technical Student Organizations include BPA, DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, HOSA, SkillsUSA, TSA and FFA. Visit www.ctsos.org to learn more.