Across the country, there is a critical shortage of qualified workers needed to fill middle-skill jobs—jobs that require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. Many of the middle-skill jobs in high-demand industries, like manufacturing, information technology and healthcare, pay family-sustaining wages and can be accessed by attaining postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) credentials.
While CTE programs in high-demand fields exist, the quality and outcomes of programs vary, research and awareness of best practices are limited, and leadership and professional development opportunities are uncommon.
In response to these challenges, ECMC Foundation launched the CTE Leadership Collaborative (LC), an initiative focused on bringing together diverse perspectives and equipping CTE leaders with the tools, resources and skills needed to advance postsecondary CTE.
The LC issues competitive funding opportunities to identify targeted solutions that address specific challenges facing postsecondary CTE. Each LC grantee provides opportunities for the next generation of leaders from a range of disciplines and a variety of approaches—known as ECMC Foundation Fellows—dedicated to improving postsecondary CTE. LC grantees commit to similar branding and a common list of expectations focused on field building to create seamless opportunities for collaboration. This ensures the knowledge and lessons learned from the LC have the potential to be far-reaching and impact the CTE field more broadly.