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Archive for the ‘College and Career Ready’ Category

Top Utah Occupations in Skilled and Technical Sciences

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Pathways in the Skilled and Technical Sciences area reflect a broad variety of interests, but when it comes to those occupations that are rated 5-Star* by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Mechanical and Construction occupations really stand out as summarized in the table below.

For more information about these and other occupations – including related education and training options – you can browse UtahFutures. To see other “best” Utah occupations, check out the Utah Job Outlook Brochure. And to explore the full variety of Pathways in Skilled and Technical Sciences, as well as other CTE Areas, visit UtahCTE.org.

Employment by Industry

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Career Highlight is usually devoted to information organized by categories focused on occupations, but this month we decided to take an industry perspective. There are some occupations that are fairly industry specific – doctors and nurses are largely employed within the health care industry, and mining machine operators work in the mining industry. However, there are many occupations employed across industries. For example, computer programmers, administrative assistants, office managers, and custodians are needed in almost any work environment, no matter the industry. Therefore – especially when jobs are scarce – it’s worth thinking about pursuing opportunities outside the industry most often associated with your occupation. That is, check out businesses and organizations within growth industries to find jobs that will use your skills and may offer better security and wages than the same occupation in an industry that is declining.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) organizes industries into just two very broad groups: goods producing, or service providing. The goods-producing industries include: ¨ Construction; ¨ Manufacturing; ¨ Mining.  Service-providing industries include: Educational services; Financial activities; Health care and social assistance; Information; Leisure and hospitality; Professional and business services; Public administration; Trade, transportation, and utilities. Service-providing industries are projected to account for the most job growth through 2020. As illustrated below, employment is projected to increase by more than 5.6 million in the health care and social assistance sector, with home health care and family services leading that growth. Providers of management, scientific, and technical consulting services will lead the growth in the professional and business services. For additional details, consult this article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. For Utah-specific industry outlook information, you may be interested in the regional Industry Briefs developed by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Meet Jeananne Lybbert: Dishing Up CTE Intro and More

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Jeananne Lybbert joined the staff at Fort Herriman Middle School about six years ago, and is an integral part of a dynamic CTE team that is dedicated to helping students learn about all areas of career and technical education. (Read about their celebration of CTE Month in the Fort Herriman MS Newsletter.) For Ms. Lybbert, it is equally important to help students discover their personal talents and interests. That is one reason that she enthusiastically endorses the Career Development Activities (CDAs) in CTE Intro. For example, students complete a career interest inventory to help them understand how the school subjects, extra-curricular activities, and hobbies that they enjoy translate to potential career interests. Students have opportunities to study specific occupations that match their interests, and can even try out various work roles through Work-Based Learning experiences. Ms. Lybbert says that seventh grade is ideal for engaging students in self-discovery, and she enjoys the many “ah-ha” moments that her students experience as they participate in the CDAs. As a FACS teacher, perhaps Ms. Lybbert might say, “CTE Intro is the best thing since sliced bread.”

In addition to her CTE Intro responsibilities, Ms. Lybbert also teaches FACS Exploration and Foods to grade 8 and 9 students. As a National School to Watch, Ft. Herriman has organizational supports to promote her efforts to meet the distinct developmental needs of middle school students. She is pleased to be a part of Ft. Herriman’s larger community – the school, district, and the partnerships – that work together to promote the success of their students.

Fort Herriman Middle School


Nebo Students Soar in CTE Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

On October 3, 2013, the Daily Herald highlighted students in Nebo School District who participate in Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities. WBL provides opportunities for students to learn a variety of skills through rigorous academic preparation with hands-on career development experiences. Under the guidance of adult mentors, students learn to work in teams, solve problems, and meet employers’ expectations. Through a variety of WBL experiences students see, firsthand, how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities.

Below is a portion of the story featured in the Daily Herald:

Ever wonder if being a pilot, a nurse or a teacher would be the right job for you? Well, one Utah County school district is helping its students find out this information while they are in high school. Nebo School District’s Work-Based Learning program matches student interns to businesses whose trade relates to the students interests.

Students sign-up for Work-Based Learning, spend the first couple of weeks attending critical workplace skills classes, and with help from advisors, select an internship. Then students learn from professionals in the field while visiting the businesses or organizations twice a week.

“The program gives students a chance to try out a career that they are interested in. If students do a couple internships in high school, they tend to have a better idea of what they want to do in college,” said Chris Thomas, the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at both Spanish Fork High School and Salem Hills High School. “If career sampling is done in high school, not college, ultimately it will save the students money.”

Part of the matching process includes filling out an application, stating career goals and listing three choices of places the students would like to intern. Though Thomas has an extensive list of internships from past years, she claims that new internships are created every semester.

“While they aren’t on location, the students are in the classroom, learning how to get a job and then how to keep a job,” said Thomas. “We teach students how to write resumes, cover letters and reference pages. They learn interviewing skills, networking, how to fill out job applications. Later, once they’ve been placed with an employer, the students are taught business ethics, attitude and teamwork.”

Read complete story HERE

Work-Based Learning opportunities are available at every high school throughout Utah. If you’re interested in participating in a WBL experience talk to the school counselor in your school.

Meet CTE Teacher Chris Humbert

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Meet CTE Teacher Chris Humbert: From Designing Buildings to Designing Curriculum

The bell marks the end of the school day, but Chris Humbert is still going strong. Students are slow to leave his classroom, and there are some who walk in from the hall to say ‘hi.’ Mr. Humbert obviously has the respect of his students at Kearns Junior High School, and is quick to acknowledge their strengths and contributions. Given his ease in this classroom setting, you would never guess that he hasn’t spent his whole career here, but in truth, Mr. Humbert was an architect for many years before pursuing his teaching credentials. There were a number of steps involved in making his way to a full time teaching position at Kearns Junior about three years ago, and he credits Granite School District’s Great Beginnings pedagogy classes for giving him a big advantage as he moved from industry into teaching.

Mr. Humbert encourages students to participate in Career and Technical Education – especially Technology and Engineering, and is constantly on the lookout for new ways to communicate all the advantages that CTE courses have to offer. His web page offers his students in CTE Intro (7th grade), Gateway to Technology (8th grade), and Gateway to Engineering (9th grade), a central location for finding course information and more. Mr. Humbert has also just started a Twitter account (follow @MrHumbertKJH) and is eager to find ways to use Twitter and other social media to communicate and share with students and their parents.

Meet Becky Smith: This Teacher Has Solar Power!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Becky Smith is Nationally Board Certified in Technology and Engineering. She teaches CTE Intro as well as math at South Davis Junior High School, and could probably teach effectively with her hands behind her back, given her knowledge and experience. However, Miss Smith enjoys mixing it up with new resources and activities. She says that keeping things fresh ensures that students are engaged, and student engagement is what nourishes her passion for teaching. She enjoys working with state specialists, and also makes an effort to participate in professional development opportunities that are offered by her district. When asked which CTE Intro activity is her students’ favorite, she described how the class builds solar ovens and then cooks with them! (Check out NASA’s instructions for building a solar oven and their recipe for “Sun S’mores” here.)

Miss Smith says that the activity-centered lessons are appealing to seventh graders, and she is committed to assuring that students get the full benefit of the CTE Intro course, including –

  • The self-knowledge that will help them better understand how to become a contributing member of society.
  • The opportunity to explore the world of work and to learn about the education and training needed to be successful.
  • A personal college and career plan, developed in cooperation with parents, counselors and other educators.

Next time you see Miss Smith, be sure to tell her that she’s a shining example for CTE Intro teachers everywhere!


Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Over 20 Percent Youth Joblessness and Still No Apprenticeships? This was a question posed by economist Robert Lerner as he advocated for expanded youth apprenticeship as a key strategy for raising the skills and productivity of American workers. In his paper, Can the United States Expand Apprenticeship? Lessons from Experience, Lerner offers examples of skill mismatches, especially for many technical jobs requiring mastery of specific occupational tasks. He suggests that this mismatch can be largely addressed by ensuring that apprenticeship becomes an attractive and viable alternative to college and/or the military for many more high school students.

So what is apprenticeship? Registered apprenticeship connects students who are interested in developing new skills with employers who want to train workers for jobs that use those skills. Students earn while they learn – usually at least minimum wage at the start of their program, with increases as they progress. Apprentices typically complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of related instruction each year. Sponsoring employers, employer associations or labor unions will often pay for the technical instruction that is provided by a technical school, community college, or at an apprenticeship training center. Individuals who complete an apprenticeship earn a nationally recognized certificate. You can learn much more about apprenticeship, including sources of additional information and from testimonials, by reading a recent article – “Apprenticeship: Earn while you learn” – in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly.

This table reflects the ten most popular apprentice occupations. You can click on each occupational code to view additional details – like wages for inexperienced workers in the occupation, or current job openings – available in the Utah Occupation Information Data Viewer.


Occupational Code

Active Apprentices, 2012

Median Nat’l Hourly Wage

Median Utah Hourly Wage



36,742 $23.96 $21.81


15,479 $19.20 $17.07


13,201 $23.62 $23.44
Pipe fitter


8,586 $23.62 $23.44
Construction craft laborer


7,947 $14.42 $13.51
Sheet metal worker


7,714 $20.81 $21.76


5,479 $16.97 $15.95
Structural steel/ironworker


5,041 $22.18 $19.10


3,560 $16.92 $16.54
Pipe fitter (sprinkler fitter)


3,266 $23.62 $23.62

Sources: U. S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics program, Utah Department of Workforce Services

Meet Coleen Huff, Outstanding Educator – CTE/Computers/Guitar

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

You might think that after 28 years of teaching at Mt. Nebo Junior High School, Coleen Huff would be growing tired of it all, but you’d be wrong. She continues to be exhilarated by her students, fellow faculty members, and even by the general community she serves. She says the secret is to keep on learning, and she is quick to point out the opportunities she has to collaborate with colleagues at the school and with district leaders.

Even at the end of a long day, Mrs. Huff’s passion for teaching is evident as she describes the CTE opportunities available at Mt. Nebo – a school with over 700 students. She reports that Mt. Nebo Junior High School offers an Introduction to Agriculture course that is wildly popular with the eighth and ninth graders who manage to get in. She takes pride in the fact that two of her students with special needs passed MS Word and Computer Technology state testslast year. And she is eager to describe her CTE Intro students’ favorite class project; making, marketing, and distributing their own brand of candy bar. “They’re so creative, and they learn so much!”

As Mrs. Huff walks the halls, pointing out various classrooms and features of the school, she is warmly greeted by staff and students alike. She generously shares credit for her achievements with others, which may be one reason that everyone looks forward to working with her for years to come.


Meet Lisa Hardy, Social Media-Savvy School Counselor

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

When Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program (CCGP) conference participants were invited to “like” the Utah CTE Facebook page, and to post a message there, Lisa Hardy jumped into action and was rewarded with a set of professionally printed CTE posters to use in her school. (See the full list of CTE Posters available as PDFs here.) Lisa Hardy is the sole school counselor at North Star Academy in Bluffdale, where she serves students in all grades – kindergarten through grade 9 – enrolled at the school.


Ms. Hardy has big plans for September 30-October 4; a “College and Career Week” will help students of every age better understand the world of work and the education required to achieve success in that world. She will use the CTE posters to illustrate the many Career Pathways available and to inform students of related facts. In addition, she is inviting community members and college representatives to do their part to ensure that students are exposed to a wide variety of occupations and that every student sees college (“1, 2, 4 or more”) as a key element of the post high school plan. Students will be encouraged to identify “their” college. There are even some plans in the works to host lunch time competitions between representatives of rival schools.  College and Career Week is just the beginning of the opportunities North Star Academy students will have to make college and career readiness a priority.


The CTE Posters that Lisa Hardy won may have to find a place in the hall,
as various other “tools of the trade” are spilling off of shelves in her office.


Meet Casey Boyer: New Teacher at a New School (But That Was Last Year)

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Casey Boyer started college thinking that he would become a mechanical engineer, but luckily for Nebo District, he changed his course to complete a degree in education. He acknowledged that his decision was influenced by his former Westside Elementary teacher who recognized his potential before he did. Mr. Boyer was excited by the prospect of helping to open Salem Junior High School last year, and has returned this fall a bit more confident, experienced, and knowledgeable about both his students and his subject matter.

Mr. Boyer teaches CTE Intro and Manufacturing courses. Objectives for these courses are expressed in “I Can” statements, for example, “I CAN recognize processes and technology in engineering, manufacturing and construction.” (See the full lists of the statements for his courses: CTE Intro and Manufacturing and Exploring Technology.)  He works diligently to assure that his students achieve these objectives, and he enjoys seeing them learn more about themselves and about the world of work. He noted that there is quite a range of development for the students in his CTE-Intro classes. He has a couple of students who already have well-developed career interests, with solid plans about how to prepare for specific occupations, while others have a very limited scope of what is possible, and still others see vast possibilities, but are in no way prepared to identify even a broad area of career interest. From Mr. Boyer’s viewpoint, that’s the beauty of CTE Intro; it is a curriculum that has something for every student – even if it’s simply a confirmation of something they do not want to do when they grow up!