Siemens Foundation and Advance CTE Announce Initiative to Drive More Students to High-quality CTE


Siemens Foundation and Advance CTE Announce Initiative to Drive More Students to High-quality CTE

March 2, 2017 – Silver Spring, MD – Today, the Siemens Foundation and Advance CTE are proud to support four states in their efforts to promote Career Technical Education (CTE) and implement recruitment activities for parents and students in each state.

Too often, CTE programs still evoke an image of outdated vocational education that does not prepare students for their college and career aspirations. In reality, CTE programs are relevant to all sectors and career fields, regularly engage students through work-based and hands-on learning, and provide seamless pathways between high school and college and the workplace. Today, too many students and parents are unaware of the CTE programs in their own communities, and how these programs equip students with the academic, technical and employability skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and the labor market.

To address this, Advance CTE, with support from the Siemens Foundation, is conducting national research on the messages that best resonate with parents and students to encourage students to engage in CTE programs. 

As part of the effort, Advance CTE will work with four states selected through a competitive process to incorporate nationally tested messages about CTE in a variety of in-person events and virtual campaigns. Each state will receive up to $20,000 and eight months of technical assistance from Advance CTE. The selected state agencies are:

  • Indiana Department of Education,
  • Maryland State Department of Education,
  • New Jersey Department of Education, and
  • Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

“Students and their parents need to know there’s more than one way to succeed in college and employment, and CTE can often get you there faster and for less money, said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation.  “It’s no secret that our economy is and will continue to value the skill sets provided by CTE programs, particularly those in STEM.  It’s time for our society to do the same, and we’re hoping that driving communications around this value will do just that.”

“Today’s CTE programs are engaging and provide students with the opportunity to explore career options, gain real-world skills and prepare for their future,” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of Advance CTE. “One of the greatest challenges we face is telling the story of CTE’s success in a way that makes it a viable option for more parents and their children. We are excited to work with these states to build creative recruitment efforts so that more students can find success through CTE.”

Over the course of the initiative, the four states will lead activities ranging from a day-long recruitment event for middle school students and their parents, a video campaign featuring employers and students that is customizable at the local level, a replicable social media strategy and plan for districts, and modular lessons plans that help students explore advanced manufacturing careers. Activities will later be scaled statewide and lessons learned from these states will be shared across the country through the CTE: Learning that works for America® campaign.

This work is not only critical to student success, but also to our nation’s economy. Nearly half of employers cite difficulty finding skilled employees, and five out of the 10 careers employers are having difficulty filling are in STEM career fields. This work will ensure that students are being prepared for careers in their field of interest, while also creating a pipeline of talented and skilled employees in STEM industries.

To learn more, visit

Siemens Foundation
Elizabeth Cho
Advance CTE 
Katie Fitzgerald




About the Siemens Foundation:
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $100 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math.  The Siemens Foundation’s mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are closing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. when it comes to STEM careers, and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. For further information, visit  or follow @sfoundation.

About Advance CTE:
Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports visionary state leadership, cultivates best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy to promote academic and technical excellence that ensures a career-ready workforce.