A Message from the Director

 Eric Ripley, Executive Director of CTE & Technology

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Eric Ripley, Executive Director of CTE & Technology

The following is a statement that attests to the importance of a strong Career and Technical Education program. This quote is part of a testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Education Reform Committee on Education and the Workforce United States House of Representatives by Mrs. Katharine M. Oliver.

"Changing U.S. demographics make the alignment of careers with educational experiences an imperative. Our economy could once tolerate the decade that many young adults took to "find themselves," delaying the start of a career until their late twenties. With an aging population and a changing economy, the country no longer has this luxury. "These [demographic] developments pose potential problems for employers and the economy generally, as the possible loss of many key experienced workers could create shortages … with adverse effects on productivity and economic growth." Our nation's employers are already facing skills shortages in technical areas:

•Information technology firms need 425,000 additional workers now - and more than 1.2 million in the near future.
•The automotive industry reports that 60,000 service technician jobs are unfilled.
•Some 22,000 installation, repair, and service jobs in the air conditioning and refrigeration field are empty.
•The construction industry reports over 250,000 openings.
•Eighty percent of employers in hospitality, health care, printing, transportation, and manufacturing industries claim moderate to sever shortages.

As a nation, we desperately need to expand the pipeline of qualified individuals to fill these shortages. The country's economic health relies on a balanced demand for and supply of skills. We must engage students (and their parents) earlier and more actively in their career and educational decisions.

We provide strong Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for Grand Forks Public School students. In fact, we reach out to Grand Forks county schools as a part of a consortium providing those students opportunities as well. Our programs are strong because of support from the school board, administrative team, and CTE staff members. We also are fortunate to have great facilities and resources to support our teachers so they can provide the best CTE educational experiences possible for our students.

 The Career and Technical Education department provides 52 courses in four middle schools and three high schools. Fifty-eight professional staff members deliver the CTE courses and programs to students. They include: 18 staff in Technology Education, two CTE Resource Educators, 15 staff in Family and Consumer Sciences, two in Medical Careers, 10.6 staff in Business and Office Education, 2.5 staff in Marketing Education, seven staff in Career Education, and one Director.