Advancing the Framework
Advancing the Framework
Engage with our National Implementation Survey
Watch the introductory video for the The National Career Clusters® Framework National Implementation Survey, open to all practitioners of the Framework of all experience levels across secondary and postsecondary systems as well as national and industry partners. The survey includes questions on how you use the Framework now, how you desire to do so in the future, and what tools would be useful in implementing a modernized Framework.
Promote the Survey
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.
October 27, 2023
OPEN NOW: National Career Clusters Framework National Implementation Survey
To better understand how you are leveraging the National Career Clusters Framework in your work and what tools and resources you would find valuable, we have opened a National Implementation Survey, open now. Your voice is needed and valued to ensure all input is received and considered prior to a new Framework design in Fall 2024.
The National Career Clusters® Framework National Implementation Survey is open to all practitioners of the Framework of all experience levels across secondary and postsecondary systems, including national and industry partners. The survey takes 10 minutes and includes questions on how you use the Framework now, how you desire to do so in the future, and what tools would be useful in implementing a modernized Framework.
Please note this survey is only about the use of the Framework and its implementation, and will not provide additional information about future content changes to the Framework itself.
Please take the time to respond as this is the best opportunity to share input about the implementation and use of the Framework. We will share topline findings from this survey in early 2024. Future opportunities to provide input on the structure and content of the future Framework will occur in Spring 2024.
Access the introductory video and additional resources above to learn more about the survey, and respond by December 1, 2023: www.wested.org/ccfs
For previous updates, please visit the Archived Updates below this section.
September 27, 2023
Advance CTE and the national project team, supported by contractors Indigo Education and WestEd’s Center on Economic Mobility and the National Advisory Committee, have been hard at work developing and facilitating Industry Advisory Groups to hear directly from industry representatives about the power of a modernized National Career Clusters Framework. Now, we want to hear from you!
In service of a commitment to a wide range of stakeholder input activities from across the CTE spectrum, Advance CTE will be opening a national implementation survey to better understand how educators, administrators and other practitioners across learner levels currently and would like to leverage the Framework in their work. In late October, Advance CTE will share the survey widely through this channel and on careertech.org; the survey will be open to all who would like to participate.
Please note this survey is only about the use of the Framework and its implementation, and will not provide additional information about future content changes to the Framework itself. Additional activities for the validation of a modernized Framework are planned for early 2024.
We have also provided more information about the creation and recruitment of the Industry Advisory Groups. Please visit that section below to see a crosswalk of the Industry Advisory Groups, how they connect to the existing Career Clusters, and what industry sub-sectors were considered in the recruitment process.
If you have any questions about this initiative, please email email@example.com
August 21, 2023
In May, the national project team, with the support of the National Career Clusters Framework (the Framework) National Advisory Committee, launched nominations for Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs) to serve as sector-specific representatives who will inform changes to the Framework. Today, we are excited to announce the selected participants for these IAGs. The IAGs will participate in multiple workshops throughout the next six months.
We greatly appreciate all those who nominated or agreed to participate to advance the commitment of this initiative to be informed by industry. Because of your engagement, we received over 350 nominations from 37 states and the District of Columbia.
The organization of the IAGs does not represent the future organization of the Framework. Participants were chosen from those nominated to represent a cross-section of the sector and a range of other characteristics, including company profile, geography, and racial/ethnic and gender diversity. Please visit our website for more information about the IAGs, how and why participants were selected, and other information about this initiative.
We are committed to actively engaging all CTE stakeholders in the creation of a modernized Framework, including through a national survey, focus groups, member input sessions and other efforts. In the fall, the national project team will share more details about future engagement opportunities, including the national survey. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this initiative.
For additional information on the IAGs, please see the “Industry Advisory Groups” section at the bottom of this page.
For previous updates, please visit the Archived Updates section at the bottom of this page.
May 10, 2023
Nominations Open for National Career Clusters Framework Industry Advisory Groups
When Advance CTE began the initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters Framework® (the Framework), the Advance CTE Boards of Directors approved the following purpose statement as a north star to guide changes to the 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.”
To better stand up the Framework as a responsive bridge between education and work, the national project team is organizing 15 Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs) to serve as sector-specific representatives. The IAGs will consist of approximately 20-30 industry stakeholders representing a diverse range of characteristics including company profile, geography, and racial diversity. The IAGs will meet virtually three times over the next year to help inform and validate potential changes to the Framework, provide key insights into additional stakeholder engagement and champion the future direction of the Framework. We anticipate the overall time commitment to not exceed a cumulative 10 hours.
To nominate yourself or someone you feel would be a good fit for these groups, please visit this nomination form. This form is open to the public and shareable; you may make as many nominations in as many fields as you would like. The form will close on Friday, June 16. Chosen nominees will be notified later in June, and not every nominee will be selected.
April 19, 2023
We are pleased to announce that in March, Advance CTE selected a joint proposal between Indigo Education and WestEd as core partners in the initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters FrameworkⓇ. Project teams from these organizations bring decades of work in the career development and career pathways spaces. These organizations will be responsible for providing recommendations to modernize the Framework through comprehensive industry sector profiles and stakeholder engagement, including the selection and facilitation of Industry Advisory Groups to support individual Career Clusters.
Indigo Education and WestEd were selected through a rigorous Request for Proposals (RFP) process, which opened in January and yielded a number of strong proposals.
Indigo Education, a woman-owned, small business certified 501(c)3, specializes in developing college and career readiness methods and practice using a student-centered design. Recently, Indigo Education conducted a comprehensive statewide process to aggregate and track labor market information as it relates to education in Colorado.
“Indigo is honored and thrilled to partner with WestEd and Advance CTE to support the career clusters framework modernization. As the world of work rapidly evolves, we’re excited to be part of cutting-edge, inclusive, and tech-enabled education,” shared founder and Chief Executive Officer Sheri Smith. “By incorporating industry input and the latest labor market data, this project will ensure alignment with in-demand and high-paying jobs, paving the way for the future success of our communities and country.”
WestEd is a recognized national leader focused on improving the strength and effectiveness of K12, early childhood, higher education, and workforce systems to improve outcomes, equity, and economic mobility for underserved communities. WestEd’s new Center for Economic Mobility strengthens linkages between K–12, adult education, postsecondary, workforce development, and employers to foster access to postsecondary education, job training, and credentials that result in high-quality career pathways that support resilient communities.
“WestEd’s Center for Economic Mobility is pleased for the opportunity to partner with Advance CTE and Indigo Education on such a meaningful endeavor. The complexities of 21st-century economies require a deeper investigation into the synergies among education, skills development, and labor market demand in order to advance equity in economic opportunity,” states Principle Investigator Dr. Alexandria M. Wright. We look forward to this innovative project inclusive of robust industry engagement and intensive analysis of federal occupational and industry data that will derive a career cluster framework for the future.”
Soon, in collaboration with Indigo and WestEd, Advance CTE will open a public nomination form for participation in sector-specific Industry Advisory Groups. Your input will be vital to ensure the right voices and perspectives for each sector are included in this process. This form will remain open for at least one month.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com.
March 10, 2023
In December 2022, Advance CTE announced the relaunch of an initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters Framework® (the Framework). Please see below for the full announcements. Feedback from previous iterations of this work revealed the value of a National Advisory Committee (NAC) to provide expert insight into the decision making and change management processes for the national project team. While the NAC is not responsible for the eventual recommendations to update the Framework, they will provide strategic thought partnership about this initiative and help guide the direction of the project team’s work.
Diverse representation of perspectives was vital to the composition of the NAC, including through gender, race, geographic area, learner level and area of expertise. The NAC’s composition was informed through direct consultation with the Advance CTE Boards of Directors. Participants have significant experience with the Framework and career pathways systems, can speak to national, state, or local CTE systems, have a strong equity lens including a willingness to advocate for the specific and targeted inclusion of special populations and do not represent a specific industry sector or Career Cluster. Represented roles include current and former State CTE Directors, national experts in career pathways and workforce development, local administrators, and representation from the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations, among others. To see the full roster of the National Advisory Committee, please click the dropdown at the bottom of this page.
More information about the progress of this work, including the selection of a national contractor to support this project and opportunities for additional involvement, will be shared this spring. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to receive emails with project updates and opportunities to provide additional feedback.
National Advisory Committee
The Advancing the Framework National Advisory (NAC), launched in March 2023, consists of national and state CTE leaders who are providing expert insight into the decision-making and change management processes for the national project team during the course of this initiative. While the NAC is not responsible for the eventual recommendations to update the Framework, they are providing strategic thought partnership about this initiative and helping guide the direction of the project team’s work.
Diverse representation of perspectives was vital to the composition of the NAC, including through gender, race, geographic area, learner level and area of expertise. Participants have significant experience with the Framework and career pathways systems, can speak to national, state, or local CTE systems, have a strong equity lens including a willingness to advocate for the specific and targeted inclusion of special populations and do not represent a specific industry sector or Career Cluster.
Industry Advisory Groups
The Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs) include sector-specific representatives, diverse in company profile, geography, and race, ethnicity and gender. The 13 IAGs will help inform and validate potential changes to the Framework, provide key insights into additional stakeholder engagement and champion the future direction of the Framework. Click below to view the full list of members.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Right now, the best way to get involved is to stay informed of the updates along the way. 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 are Industry Advisory Groups? What is their breakdown?
The Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs) are groups of sector-specific employer representatives, diverse in company profile, geography and race/ethnicity, who can speak directly to the recruitment and training needs, challenges and future direction of their field. The IAGs will help inform and validate potential changes to the Framework, provide key insights into additional stakeholder engagement and champion the future direction of the Framework. A listing of the participants and a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions, including selection and methodology, is below.
What is the purpose of the Industry Advisory Groups? The overall purposes of the IAGs are twofold: 1)To provide a dedicated space for industry partnership and input to ensure the National Career Clusters Framework meets workforce needs and 2) To better understand evolving and emerging career opportunities and skill priorities for learners at all levels of education. These groups will then help inform and validate changes to eventual Career Clusters.
Does the composition of these groups reflect the future design of the Career Clusters? No – while the groups will inform the eventual changes to the National Career Clusters Framework, the IAGs were designed to be more representative of industry sectors. The final Career Clusters will be different from the IAGs.
Who is an ideal candidate for these groups? The ideal candidate is an individual who has a long standing history in a given sector, can speak broadly to both national and regional workforce needs, and thoroughly understands the hiring and training opportunities and challenges of that sector. For that reason, public institutions, private businesses, associations, unions, training organizations, and other groups are viable participants. We do ask that vendors of products related to the National Career Clusters Framework identify themselves during the nominations for this group.
Who is selecting the participants? Will everyone nominated be selected? Our national partners Indigo Education and WestEd will select the eventual participants for the IAGs. Because of capacity, approximately 20-30 participants for each IAG will be recruited; groups will be curated to ensure geographic, size, sector, gender and racial diversity. Selected participants will be notified in June 2023. Nomination does not guarantee selection.
How were the IAG groupings determined? We used a mixed-method methodology to determine these groups, based on the current National Career Clusters Framework and the NAICS and SOC systems which, combined, represent the entire world of work. The IAG framework reflects the interdisciplinary character of 21st century sectors and occupations; cross-sector occupations will be identified during IAG meetings. For example, Management, Leadership & Entrepreneurship, as its own IAG, represents the robust nature of the field, however small business owners will be represented in all IAG groups. Engineering is combined with manufacturing, as engineering aligns with production and, in a broader sense, the production of infrastructure. The STEM cluster will be represented by multiple corresponding IAGs.
To help stakeholders better understand the creation and development of the Industry Advisory Groups, the national project team developed this crosswalk, which demonstrates the connection to the existing National Career Clusters Framework and a sampling of the industry sub-sectors included. This crosswalk is not designed to be fully comprehensive nor representative of the future modernized National Career Clusters Framework, but instead indicative of the design and recruitment of the IAGs. Many existing Career Clusters are included in multiple IAGs, while others are not; this is not reflective of one’s importance over another, but represents a different organizational structure.