SkillsUSA and Industry Leaders Come Together to Help CTE Students Continue Learning During COVID-19 Crisis
Industry Coalition to Leverage Experience, Connections and Resources
Leesburg, Va. — To support continued learning for career and technical education (CTE) students during the COVID-19 crisis, SkillsUSA has joined with Lincoln Electric, Tooling U-SME, NC3 and camInstructor to form the CTE Coalition. The coalition has quickly mobilized to create the Keep CTE Moving website, a central portal where instructors and students can access hundreds of online classes, videos, and instructional materials in areas such as machining, welding, mechatronics, industry 4.0, and programming. All online materials — many available at no charge for the next 30 days — are produced by the coalition partners. The goal is to help CTE faculty and students continue their teaching and learning in a new virtual environment as quickly as possible.
“The coalition hopes that by offering these centralized online resources, we can quickly help thousands of students continue their studies in these unprecedented times when many schools are temporarily closed,” said SkillsUSA executive director Chelle Travis. “This is our effort to offer support to our students and teachers who need guidance and resources — and they need it right now.”
“A lot of CTE courses in areas like welding, CNC, automotive, manufacturing and construction are very hands-on,” said Jason Scales, business manager, education, Lincoln Electric. “Many instructors simply don’t have online training content. This non-competitive group of industry-leading companies each maintain a robust set of e-learning modules and other resources. Together, we agreed to share our resources in an unprecedented manner. With this opportunity, tens of thousands of CTE students can keep learning, even while they may not be allowed to gather in a physical classroom or lab.
Understanding the urgency for education to respond to the crisis, coalition partners are also providing recorded sessions with CTE instructors highlighting best practices in how to effectively utilize e-learning and online resources to educate students and quickly transition to a virtual learning environment. The manufacturing industry has already faced a skilled labor shortage, and the continuing COVID-19 crisis has presented an additional challenge for educational institutions as schools across the nation are closed and face-to-face learning is disrupted.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, CTE instructors are urged to visit the Keep CTE Moving website at www.ctecoalition.com regularly for new learning resources and guidance that will evolve over time. The coalition will continue to monitor the situation and work together to respond to the needs of CTE educators and their students.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 366,000 annual paid members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. With the addition of our alumni, membership last year was 427,432. We have served nearly 14 million members since 1965. For more information: www.skillsusa.org
For more information on the Keep CTE Moving site and CTE Coalition efforts, visit www.ctecoalition.com.