As its first major undertaking, VTE raised $60,000 to contract with the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. The Dukakis Center, under the leadership of founding director Barry Bluestone, was hired to conduct a comprehensive study about public perceptions of vocational technical education.
The survey was designed to gauge the feelings of current vocational technical students, graduates of vocational technical programs, high school students not taking vocational technical courses, parents, vocational technical school administrators, employers, and the general public.
The report is available here.
VTE is also developing a series of policy recommendations to present to the Baker Administration and the Legislature to increase vocational access. The recommendations are aimed at decreasing the huge waiting lists at vocational technical schools so more students have the opportunities to get this skills-based education and more employers are able to find the workers they need for current and future vacancies.
VTE also is drafting a larger report which identifies successful programs and partnerships that increase access to vocational technical education.
The Coalition has identified six goals: producing a value statement for vocational technical education, increasing access/opportunities for students throughout the State, reducing current waiting lists for successful programs, producing better trained entry level employees, promoting vocational technical education, and improving funding for vocational technical education.
Alliance for Vocational Technical Education: 2016 Policy Recommendations:
- Appoint a person to oversee Career Vocational/Technical Education in Massachusetts.
- Integrate CVTE as a tool within the Workforce Skills Cabinet and regional planning.
- Expand utilization of existing Articulation Agreements and Early College High School models
- Establish clearer state policy allowing promotion of CVTE as a viable pathway to college and career.
- Increase and maximize seat capacity of existing CVTE schools and programs by encouraging experimentation and providing seed money to support growth of new and existing local partnerships.
- Facilitate effective practices and develop training models between CVTE and comprehensive high schools.
- Initiate a campaign to promote best case examples of CVTE partnerships and highlight employer partners.
- Develop an academic curriculum based on CVTE framework, strand 4, Employability and Career Readiness, and support its implementation statewide.
- Create a statewide employer champion strategy that results in increased opportunity for employers to find skilled talent.
- Continue support for equipment grants through capital bond funds
- Increase investments in CVTE operations to immediately address current CVTE waitlist.
- Create financial incentives to modernize regional vocational technical schools.
- Allow MSBA capital spending on post secondary CVTE programs at vocational technical high schools