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Developing Skills for High-Demand, High-Wage Careers

Career and Technical Education (CTE) has a broad reach in Wisconsin.

Perkins V, a federal grant that invests in secondary and postsecondary CTE, has two goals:

  1. create and sustain CTE that prepares students for high-skill, high-demand, high-wage careers; and
  2. provide the support that affords every student the opportunity to be successful.

In 2018, Perkins funding supported more than 500 CTE programs serving more than 120,000 students attending Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges and 2 tribal colleges, and more than 85,000 students in 421 K-12 school districts.

Why Perkins V Matters in Wisconsin

Making high-quality CTE available is more critical than ever.

Across the U. S. and Wisconsin, employers are struggling to find the talent they need.

By 2020, an estimated 60% of all jobs will require a high-quality postsecondary credential, yet only 48.4% of Wisconsinites have attained a postsecondary certificate or diploma (Lumina Foundation).

Given this, Wisconsin’s postsecondary partners set a shared goal of increasing Wisconsin’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60% by 2027 – 60 Forward. To meet this goal, 300,000 more working-age adults (25-64) in Wisconsin need to complete postsecondary training.

This skills shortage not only reflects workforce needs, but also presents an opportunity to advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that support students and workers from underrepresented populations. In Wisconsin, significant disparities in poverty rates exist between races and ethnicities.

The United Way’s ‘Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed’ (ALICE) threshold identifies individuals who are employed, yet still cannot afford the basic needs of their family. In Wisconsin, 70% of Wisconsin’s African American households are below the ALICE threshold, while only 34% of white households fall below it (2018 Report).

Similarly, educational attainment varies across race and ethnicity groups. Hispanic, Latino, Native American, and African American adults are all 50% less likely to have a postsecondary degree than white and Asian Wisconsin residents (American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates 2012-16).

Education is the key to closing skills and equity gaps affecting Wisconsin communities.

Questions? Please e-mail perkinsv@wtcsystem.edu.

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