Breaking Ground: A First Look at American High School Skilled Trades Education

This report by JFF examines data on high school trades programs from 38 states to attempt to create a national picture of high school education and its role in ensuring employers have enough highly skilled workers for trades occupations. They find that data is difficult to collect as many states simply do not collect data on high school skilled trades programs across the country. From the data JFF was able to collect, they found that high school skilled trades education offers students high-value technical and work experiences and academic and personal skills, but that these programs still face negative perceptions about their purpose and potential. Despite challenges, the report also highlights promising practices from several states around the country that Career Technical Education (CTE) State Directors and other leaders in the field can take to increase access to and quality of skilled trades education.

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May 2020