February is CTE month. If you’re unfamiliar with what career and technical education is, we’re here to give you a refresher.

This field is diversified between high schools, area career centers, career academies, community and technical colleges, as well as four-year universities. Through these avenues of education, students choose a career option through 16 different career clusters with 79+ pathways. These programs are critical in Tennessee because they allow high school students to pursue industry certificates and education that a typical college education doesn’t offer, which will in turn, assist in closing the skills gap. This pathway is often more affordable and allows students to take on less debt while starting their industry job sooner. CTE programs and careers boost our economy and help our communities work closer together as students are better equipped and ready for college and career.

Tennessee has made a concerted effort to invest more in programs that provide various forms of education to many different types of students. For example, Governor Bill Lee recognized the skills gap in our local workforce, so he launched the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act last year. The GIVE Act helps expand access to vocational and technical training through regional partnerships between Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), community colleges, industry, economic development/workforce agencies, and K-12. Learn more about the GIVE Act here.

Through speaking with various CTE educators, business leaders, and students, we uncovered powerful stories of the way CTE programs are making a positive impact on multiple communities around the state. Today, we’re featuring Mr. Matthew Slight, Principal of West Creek High School in Clarksville, Tennessee, about how his background and experience has marked the way he leads his school and the various CTE programs they tout. 

Mr. Slight, Principal of West Creek High School

To view the video online, click here.