CTE and STEM in Jeffco Schools

My Goal: Improve Career and Technical Education and STEM Pathways that lead to well paying jobs for Jeffco graduates.

Many of us working in today’s economy see how quickly markets are changing, how demand for talent is rising and how willing employers are to seek that talent from where ever it may be. For example, middle-skilled jobs are those requiring more education than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree. According to a recent report, these jobs account for 47% of Colorado's three million jobs today and will continue to account for the largest portion of jobs into the next decade.

However, only 36% of the state's workers are currently trained to the middleskill level. This gap threatens to undermine Colorado's future economic growth and innovation efforts.

Today too many middle skill jobs are going unfilled because our state K-12 system isn't meeting this need, by ensuring that students not only achieve state standards in reading, writing, math, and science, but also have high quality career and technical education options, including internships and apprenticeships.

Unfortunately, today we see a growing mix of state, district, and school level Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of widely varying quality that are creating increasing confusion for families and employers. Jeffco has the opportunity to leverage career programs happening across the state to provide more opportunities for students.

Jeffco needs to collaborate more closely with other districts and with state organizations like CareerWise Colorado to create a much more effective and integrated CTE system, that will better meet families’ and employers’ needs and support the future growth of the Colorado economy.

My areas of focus are:
  • Ensure Jeffco has enough CTE program slots to serve every student who wants to access the opportunities
  • Ensure Jeffco Schools effectively partners with employers to ensure our CTE and Work Based Learning programs are developing students with the skill companies need to succeed in the 21st century economy.
  • Ensure Jeffco pays for Dual enrollment classes at the University of Colorado (CU) and Colorado State University (CSU), and not only classes at community colleges.