Latest Update

January 12, 2023 
Advance CTE is issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a firm/contractor to support the development and dissemination of a refreshed National Career Clusters Framework. Please click the drop-down at the bottom of this page for more information and to access the RFP. 
December 15, 2022
Advance CTE is excited to announce the relaunch of Advancing the Framework: A State-Led Initiative to Modernize the National Career Clusters® Framework. Since 2002, the National Career Clusters Framework (the Framework) has served as an organizational tool for career pathways, oriented around industry groupings.
Over the past two years, over 10,000 pieces of individual feedback were received from the field about the value of the Framework, Cluster names and groupings, and where the Framework falls short. This feedback will be considred and leveraged as we modernize the Framework to be more reflective of the current and future world of work.
To stay connected to this work, please sign up HERE to receive emails with project updates and opportunities to provide additional feedback. 
Keep reading for more information and Frequently Asked Questions about the next phase of work. 


Purpose Statement for a Revised Framework

In 2020, the Advance CTE Board of Directors unanimously approved a revised purpose statement for The National Career Clusters Framework: 

The National Career Clusters Framework provides structural alignment and a common language to bridge education and work, empowering each learner to explore, decide and prepare for dynamic and evolving careers.


  • What from the current Framework is staying the same? What do you expect to change? We heard your feedback that the Framework and its embedded Career Clusters and Pathways should reflect industry or occupational groupings. We do expect to consolidate some existing Career Clusters and add new Career Clusters as appropriate and as recommended by industry representatives and aggregate stakeholder feedback, supported by labor market research. This means that Cluster names will also potentially change, though it is possible that some Career Cluster names will remain the same. All potential changes will go through a feedback loop process, involving engagement with a wide range of diverse stakeholders.


  • Who is participating in this process? 
    • With guidance from our Boards, we will stand up a National Advisory Committee, chaired by a Board officer and composed of state leaders and national experts from a variety of diverse backgrounds who have significant experience using the Framework. 
    • We will also be leveraging distinct Industry Advisory Groups to provide expert feedback about and champion changes to their respective Career Cluster. There will be an open application as part of the selection process. 
    • This process will also be supported by a contractor who will conduct significant portions of the stakeholder engagement and provide initial recommendations to modernize the Framework. This contractor will be selected through a national RFP process starting in January.


  • What is your timeline for this project? While we cannot commit to specific intermediate milestones at this time, the new Framework and all appropriate associated assets will be finalized by the end of 2024. We recognize the time this process will take and appreciate your patience as we work through this initiative together. The field will be given ample time to voluntary begin implementation of the Framework following its release. 


  • Is there a guiding principle for this project? Our north star through this process is a renewed purpose statement, unanimously approved by Advance CTE’s Boards of Directors in September 2020: The National Career Clusters Framework provides structural alignment and a common language to bridge education and work, empowering each learner to explore, decide on and prepare for dynamic and evolving careers. Further, the Framework will align to the goals of CTE Without Limits


  • I shared feedback already about my Cluster during a prior iteration of this project. How has that feedback been incorporated into this phase of the initiative? Earlier in 2022, we paused this project as a resullt of significant feedback from the field about potential changes to the Career Clusters. As a result of this feedback, we are approaching the new phase of this refresh in an even more transparent and stakeholder-driven process, notably by engaging a National Advisory Committee and Industry Advisory Groups. Themes from the feedback received earlier in this process will be considered and inform our work going forward. While we endeavor to ensure this phase is as responsive to feedback as possible, our commitment to a Framework that equitably support learners across all Career Clusters and serves as a bridge between education and work remains steadfast. We will be using the current Framework as our starting point for the work, not the previous draft model that was proposed earlier this year. 


  • How can I get involved? Right now, the best way to get involved is to stay informed of the updates along the way. To do that, sign up for our Career Clusters updates HERE. In the future, there may be opportunities to complete surveys or share individual feedback; we will share that information through the emailed Career Clusters updates and on this webpage.


  • What if I still have questions? If you still have questions, please email careerclusters@careertech.org and someone will respond to your questions as soon as possible.


In October 2022, Advance CTE relaunched a paused initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters® Framework (the Framework). This new initiative seeks to update the existing Framework to better reflect the current and future world of work, serve all learner levels and act as a bridge and common language between education and industry. To help ensure regular stakeholder engagement, ample industry support and involvement, and alignment with research and labor market information, Advance CTE is issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a firm/contractor to support the development and dissemination of a refreshed National Career Clusters Framework.

To download the RFP, please follow this link.

The ideal organizational partner will have the following qualifications:

  • Familiarity with Career Technical Education and The National Career Clusters Framework;
  • A demonstrated focus on education and workforce development;
  • A national perspective that can oversee all industry groupings and learner levels across all 50 states and other US territories;
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity, including incorporating and leveraging diverse perspectives;
  • Experience with managing and synthesizing large quantitative and qualitative data sets
  • Experience recruiting for and facilitating stakeholder engagement sessions 


If you are interested in bidding on this project, the timeline is as follows:

  • Submit a letter of intent by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, January 27, 2023 to Dan Hinderliter, dhinderliter@careertech.org.  You are welcome to also submit any questions you have about this project or schedule an appointment to discuss this RFP.
  • Full proposals should be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, February 10, 2023, and will only be accepted if you submitted a letter of intent by the date above, and respond to all of the questions noted below. Proposals are limited to 10 pages, not including a cover page, and the budget. For further information about Advance CTE, please visit www.careertech.org

Advance CTE is committed to equity and diversity in its organizational partnerships, including small businesses, as well as veteran-owned, woman-owned and/or minority-owned firms/organizations.