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Career and Technical Education Month

February 2, 2021

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. CTE promotes and supports locally-based middle and high school programs that provide 21st century, academic and technical skills for all students.

Why is it important to celebrate CTE month?

CTE gives students the necessary skills needed for postsecondary and workplace success. Modern education places a heavy emphasis on math, English and history. Although those subjects are important, many feel those subjects should be presented with more real-world and applicable workplace examples. That is where CTE comes in.

CTE classes give students the ability to learn the skills needed to help them gain and maintain jobs in the future. Students receive real-world examples to help them understand their academic classes and get the chance to work as part of a team– a crucial skill needed in any career.

According to the Spokane Valley Career and Technical Education Advisory Council, skilled trades and construction jobs are among the top hardest to fill in the U.S. CTE plays a critical role in educating students to fill those jobs.

Filling the Labor Shortage Gap

There is no debating the severity of the skilled labor shortage gap in the residential construction industry. Exposing children and students of all ages to the opportunities a career in the skilled trades can bring helps us start to tackle the problem head-on. There are children who want to be firefighters or astronauts. Why not a builder? Students need to know about these jobs to consider them as future careers.

BIAW Progress

BIAW has been working tirelessly over the last year and despite the pandemic, we have accomplished many things including:

  • Awarding over $40,000 in scholarships and grants to students and programs that directly impact the industry;
  • Bringing Journeyman ironworker/boilermaker Jamie McMillan to virtually speak to high school students about the skilled trades and her career journey;
  • Connecting the Home Builders Institute to Hockinson and Tumwater high schools to bring their curriculum to those schools;
  • Partnering with EdgeFactor to bring high-quality video content, ranging from specific worksite tasks to motivational and inspiring testimonials highlighting the industry as a top-tier career choice.

As you can see, we are out there finding ways to connect our members with their community resources. The more students learn about our work and the quality of life they can achieve in this industry, the more likely they will be to join us.

If you are involved in a project where we can assist or if you have an innovative opportunity you would like help getting going, please contact BIAW Workforce Development and Education Director Al Audette at or (360) 352-7800 ext. 105.

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