CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech
Modern CTE is Amazing
The New York International Auto Show opens this week at the Javits Center. What does a show displaying the latest in wheeled vehicles have to do with Career & Technical Education?
Tour the show with that question in mind, and you’ll understand that CTE is the key to what schools will need to teach future generations of students, to keep all the new gadgets and high technology on the show floor working.
The show’s theme this year is – Be Amazed. By that, I suppose the show’s producers intended that you’ll be really impressed by car makers’ latest automotive engineering and styling. But there is more at the show that you should find not only amazing, but also fascinating and disturbing. As in previous years, the wide variety of colors and styles offered by all the manufacturers is most remarkable.
But the shiny surfaces of those vehicles conceal some of the most advanced technology on earth. Cars today are composed of amazing, space-age materials, interconnected and propelled by highly sophisticated engineering that was not even imagined in the early days of NASA.
How is all this technology-on-wheels related to the mission of this column? Consider this: the vehicles at the show were designed, built, transported, and put on display by people with skills they learned in Career & Technical Education programs that have sadly been defunded and disbanded.
More significantly, as you visit each manufacturer’s display, and listen to their product specialists tout the impressive features of their amazing vehicles, particularly the electric and autonomous models, think about this: Who is going to maintain and repair all this new technology? Where will we find the technicians to keep this amazing new technology working, without new CTE programs?
That’s the question I ask the experts each year at the World Traffic Safety Symposium, taking place at Javits the day before the car show opens. It’s also the reason I teach technicians, advocate for more trade education everywhere – for every trade, and the purpose of this column.
With that in mind, as you tour the car show this year, don’t just look at the cars and the attractive models, also be on the lookout for two things central to this column each week – training and employment opportunities.
Some of the displays will feature classes on new electric vehicles and charging systems. Take advantage of these classes before buying an EV.
There will also be at least one automotive trade school offering training for vehicle technicians. Training that can lead to rewarding, profitable, and amazing careers servicing the vehicles on display.
In addition, several City and State agencies will be recruiting workers needed to maintain their fleets. Car dealers and manufacturers may also be offering employment opportunities in their organizations. More amazing careers can be found there.
Bottom Line: As the slogan says, BE AMAZED – by everything at the show. Then, demand our schools offer more AMAZING CTE PROGRAMS!
CTE is Respectable Again!
Academic & Trade Education are Two Sides of a Coin.
This column explores the impact of CTE programs on students, society, and the economy.
Mike Porcelli: life-long mechanic, adjunct professor, and host of Autolab Radio, is committed to restoring trade education in schools before it’s too late. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-porcelli-master-mechanic-allasecerts/