Every February marks Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, where we celebrate and raise awareness for CTE programs across the country dedicated to preparing students for the workforce.

There is a lot that goes into preparing the future of the workforce and it is no easy task. CTE programs play a critical role in educating students about careers in automotive and diesel, and overall help build well-rounded professionals.

We want to take a moment to highlight CTE, celebrate our industry, and share our gratitude for the exceptional instructors, learners, and partners who have had a positive impact on career and technical education. Thank YOU!

What is Career & Technical Education (CTE)?

Career and technical education (CTE) prepares students in middle school, high school, and post-secondary institutions for the workforce by combining the academic and technical skills needed to succeed in their careers.

There are currently 16 career clusters that CTE programs are based on, including Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics which includes automotive and diesel repair.

Benefits of CTE Programs

CTE and workplace-readiness programs benefit all students—regardless of if they’re planning to go to a four-year college, technical school, military, or straight into the workforce.

Research has shown that schools with CTE programs:

  • Achieve higher graduation rates
  • Reach more at-risk students
  • Strengthen community engagement
  • Provide students with more work-based learning experience
  • Allow students for more career exploration
  • And more

The need for technicians is high. Attracting students and getting them exposure to the automotive and diesel industry while they’re young is imperative if we want to meet the growing demand of technicians.

Importance of Community Partnerships

Community partnerships are the key to any successful CTE program. Between the instructor shortage and tight budgets, CTE instructors need the support from local businesses to better educate their students.

WrenchWay School Assist makes it easy for CTE, automotive, and diesel instructors to connect with shops and dealerships in their area. Schools like Hartford Union High School in Hartford, Wisconsin have received various donations from shops on WrenchWay such as tools, textbooks, and even a vehicle.

“I love to see new relationships developing on School Assist. It’s rewarding for both the shop and the school. Most shops really want to help, and most schools desperately need that help. However, the process of getting connected has been the obstacle. Nobody has time to figure out who to contact, and then it feels weird to just call a business out of the blue and ask for help. To be able to make those connections easy and to streamline the process for both sides has been incredibly rewarding.”

Lisa Joseph, Director of School & Technician Services, WrenchWay

Looking for more support for your CTE program? WrenchWay School Assist is free for instructors to use to connect with the industry and grow their program. Anyone interested in signing up can request an account on the WrenchWay website.

CTE: Introduction to Automotive & Diesel Careers

For many students, CTE courses may be their introduction into the automotive or diesel industry. Every student has different strengths and interests. School is a chance for students to explore different fields to see what they like and what they are good at so they can pursue a career that interests them after graduation. Even if a student doesn’t choose to pursue a career in automotive or diesel, these classes still shed light on what goes into vehicle repair/maintenance and provide real world training—giving them greater respect for the industry and the people who work in it.