Our new career preparation ecosystem, designed under Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) must ensure each learner feels welcome in, is supported by and has the means to succeed. As stakeholders continue to implement this new shared vision, the field calls for state and local leaders to remain committed to high-quality programs and instructors that build a competitive talent pipeline. There also remains an ongoing need for federal, state and local investments in those individuals working directly with learners.
Last month, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools announced their 2021 Prize for Teaching Excellence winners! This award invests in quality programs and instructors who work directly with learners, a foundational commitment to achieving CTE Without Limits. Annually, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools awards more than $1 million to 18 outstanding skilled trades instructors and programs in public high schools across the country to increase the understanding, support and investment in skilled trades education. Since its inception five years ago, 89 high-quality skilled trades instructors nationwide have been recognized and more than 100,000 students in career pathways have been impacted by these investments.
Teachers and schools awarded have full autonomy over how the prize money can be spent to advance their skills trades education program. As an example from earlier this year, two previous winners used their prizes to develop and implement apprenticeship programs. Both were recognized nationally for their programs.
2019 Prize winner Brent Trankler of Missouri used grant funding from the local Workforce Development Board to develop and implement a Youth Registered Apprenticeship at the Sikeston Career and Technical Center (Sikeston, MO). Trankler has leveraged employer relationships to build the learn-as-you-earn program for learners, allowing for clear pathways to career opportunities after graduation.
2020 Prize winner Chad Sutton of Indiana recently received approval on his Welding Apprenticeship from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. With ongoing stakeholder collaboration between Sutton and his school administration, the local workforce board (NE Indiana Works), the Indiana Office of Work Based Learning and employers from the industry, 40 high school juniors and seniors will be able to participate. Sutton’s welding apprenticeship will be the first of its kind in the state and can serve as a model for leveraging partnerships to scale apprenticeship programs.
This year, winners span across the following 14 states:
- New York
- West Virginia
For more information on the 2021 Prize for Teaching Excellence winners click here.
Meet the grand prize winners here.
Visit the Learning that Works Resource Center for state resources on program quality and work-based learning, including apprenticeships.
Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media