Community colleges across Oregon are raising awareness of career and technical education (CTE) programs throughout the month of February in honor of National CTE Month. The CTE programs at Clatsop Community College (CCC) play a critical role in supplying our region with a workforce to keep the economy and communities strong. Mayor Fitzpatrick of Astoria and Mayor Wright of Seaside both gave proclamations at their first meeting of February stating their declaration of the importance of CTE programs to our region’s economy. The College’s Board of Education also made proclamation of CTE Month and the importance of these career paths that lead to livable-wage jobs in our region at their February 14th board meeting.
The Oregon Community College Association (OCCA), in coordination with the state’s 17 community colleges, is advocating CTE awareness with a variety of virtual activities throughout the month to engage and inform legislators and communities about the relevancy and value of CTE programs. Each Wednesday of February, groups of community college representatives have been meeting virtually with legislators, each highlighting one program from their institution. CCC chose to highlight its unique Historic Preservation and Restoration program that has assisted the region in preserving countless historic buildings and structures while educating students to enter their career of choice.
CCC provides job training, degree and certificate programs, and upskilling in a variety of fields to support local community business and industry, including historic preservation, maritime, welding, nursing, fire science, criminal justice, business and apprenticeship. CCC works closely with industry leaders in their communities to make sure CTE program curriculums are on par with industry needs and the latest best practices. Many industry leaders sit on program advisory boards to collaborate with the college on what skills they need college graduates to have in their field.
CCC career and technical programs are customized to meet the unique needs of our surrounding communities. This ensures that the workforce receives the necessary skills and training essential for reinvigorating Oregon’s businesses and industries and filling key unfilled positions. According to a 2018-19 economic impact report from the national labor market analysis firm EMSI, Oregon’s community colleges added $9.8 billion to the state’s economy, and the colleges’ impact supported more than 131,000 jobs. Essentially, colleges and their students support one out of every 20 jobs in Oregon.
View Dean of Workforce Education and Training, Kristen Wilkin, addressing Seaside City Council here.