Growing coalition helps high school students access much-needed resources
The CTE Coalition — formed in March as an industry response to the ongoing career and technical education needs of high school students whose in-class learning halted amid the COVID-19 pandemic — announced the addition of 12 new partners to the group, raising the total number of participating companies and organizations to 18. Since launching over a month ago, the coalition has helped more than a thousand high schools continue teaching tens of thousands of students in a new virtual environment.
The coalition started with Tooling U-SME, Lincoln Electric, NC3, camInstructor, Haas Automation and SkillsUSA as an interim solution to provide access to critical coursework during the pandemic through its flagship website, Keep CTE Moving. The endeavor has become, however, a growing collaboration of industry leaders to provide ongoing access to educational materials and training for faculty and students alike. New coalition members range from companies such as Sandvik, Siemens, Autodesk and Caterpillar to nonprofits including the American Welding Society, the Fabricators & Manufacturing Association and the National Tooling and Machining Association.
“The CTE Coalition launched at a time when educational institutions sent millions of students home with little to no time to develop alternate teaching plans,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president, Tooling U-SME. “When you couple an already heavy workload with a global crisis, there is an urgency for educators to respond quickly and do their best to supplement the hands-on education they would get in a traditional classroom setting.”
Thanks to the contributions of each coalition partner, career and technical education students can continue their class assignments remotely through the Keep CTE Moving website. In this central portal, instructors and students can access hundreds of online classes, videos and instructional materials that cover topics such as machining, welding, mechatronics, inspection, industry 4.0 and programming. The coalition partners provided all the online materials at no charge or reduced cost during the crisis.
“Given the situation and short notice to help out welding instructors that are not familiar with online learning, Tooling U-SME went above and beyond to help me out,” said Britt Palmer, welding instructor at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio. “When called upon, Tooling U-SME personnel were expedient in assisting me whenever I needed help with the system. My students provided me with positive feedback and praise for the training.”
“I am a retired Navy Chief with 21 years of service, and it does my heart well when I see a company from America step up to provide something for free and to help out where they are needed during an historic disastrous time in our country,” adds Palmer. “My heartfelt thanks to a company I will never forget.”
The Keep CTE Moving website will continue to evolve as the partners determine which new learning resources and guidance will be needed.
For more information on the Keep CTE Moving site and CTE Coalition efforts, visit ctecoalition.com.