Advancing The National Career Clusters® Framework

Advancing The National Career Clusters® Framework


About the Project

Twenty years ago, the states and key stakeholders built and launched The National Career Clusters® Framework. Over the past two decades, Advance CTE has been its steward. The Framework has been used by states and educational institutions to describe the universe of Career Technical Education (CTE) and to organize career preparation programs, by school counselors and advisors to discuss career exploration and career pathways, by industry leaders to connect education to the workplace, and by researchers and other experts to evaluate and provide continuous improvement.

The world of work continues to change rapidly and it is time to modernize The Framework’s structure and design to ensure its relevance for current and future needs of learners at all levels and of the workplace. Thus, we need your help.


Purpose Statement for a Revised 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. 


Where We’re Going

A key action within our vision, Without Limits: A Shared Vision For the Future of Career Technical Education, calls on the field to develop and launch this framework that supports cross-state collaboration, provides a common language across education and industry and enables cross-state comparisons and sharing. Our goal is to launch a new Framework in late 2022 through a collaborative process that crowdsources ideas from you - the past, current, and future users of the framework. The top ideas submitted in Spring 2021 will be turned into prototypes for further exploration and refinement. 

At its core, this new Framework must be nimble, adaptable and responsive to the evolving world of work; designed with equity and access in mind, relevant to both secondary and postsecondary CTE, learner-centered, forward-focused, informed by stakeholders, research and data and embraced by states

Learn More at or email Dan Hinderliter at


What's Next in the Initiative

As of May 7, the idea collection phase of this initiative has concluded. Together with the national project team, Advance CTE is working through each idea submitted to the ideation portal. Soon, we will host targeted, facilitated conversations about these ideas, hoping to synthesize aggregated themes into prototypes that will then be piloted throughout the CTE community. Please keep an eye on this page for more updates about the next steps in the initiative!