Future Workforce Initiative aims to increase career and technical education to give K-12 students access to high quality technology jobs

Governor Bill Lee announced a major initiative this week to increase access to career and technical education for K-12 students as part of his education agenda for 2019.  The Future Workforce Initiative calls for an increase in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training for students in K-12 schools.  Lee said the initiative will help ensure that Tennessee students are first in line for high quality technology jobs in emerging industries.  It also aims to put Tennessee in the top 25 states for job creation in the technology sector.

The initiative calls for:

  • Launching new CTE programs focused in STEM fields with 100 new middle school programs and tripling the number of STEM-designated public schools by 2022;
  • Growing the number of teachers qualified to teach work-based learning and advanced computer science courses through STEM teacher training and implementation of K-8 computer science standards; and
  • Expanding postsecondary STEM opportunities in high school through increased access to dual credit, AP courses and dual-enrollment.

This investment in STEM-focused early college and career experiences also supports the Tennessee Department of Education’s “Tennessee Pathways” Certification process, as well as the STEM School Designation partnership with groups like Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and Code.org.

The Governor will recommend a $4 million investment to implement the Future Workforce Initiative.  He will present his full budget proposal to the legislature on March 4.

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