Secretary DeVos Approves Final Wave of State, Territory Career and Technical Education Plans

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Secretary DeVos Approves Final Wave of State, Territory Career and Technical Education Plans

July 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Department of Education has approved the final wave of career and technical education (CTE) plans under the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on July 31, 2018. Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and West Virginia are the latest states, along with Puerto Rico, to have their CTE plans approved. Nine additional states combined their CTE plans with their Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) plans which have also been approved: Alabama, Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

“Thanks to the president’s leadership, the new career and technical education law gives local leaders the flexibility to make investments in the highest impact areas of local need,” said Secretary DeVos. “We know many well-paying, in-demand jobs require CTE training but not necessarily a college degree and the associated debt. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for all education to be tailored to meet each student’s unique needs, more nimble, and relevant to 21st-century realities. High-quality CTE programs are a critical way to help learners of all ages and get our economy back up and running at full speed.”

Perkins V encourages states and territories to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success. Each state and territory crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community partners.

To date, the Department has approved 42 Perkins plans and nine WIOA Combined State Plans that include career and technical education. California and Palau have been granted an extension to submit their plans due to COVID-19 disruptions.

Details on each approved plan can be found on the Department’s website.


  • Provides incentive grants to secondary-level school districts to pioneer strategies that increase access in CTE.
  • Aligns statewide CTE programs to economic priorities so that learners may seamlessly transition into the workforce.
  • Promotes expectations that CTE students earn postsecondary credentials and/or certifications that offer “multiple exit points” and value in the labor market.


  • Incentivizes school districts to offer students opportunities to participate in work-based learning and earn Industry-recognized credentials.
  • Increases the number of high school students who successfully complete CTE courses that count toward postsecondary credits or lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate.
  • Identifies industry recognized credentials aligned to state/regional workforce needs that carry the highest value among employers.

New Jersey

  • Ensures school counselors are prepared to support students through ongoing career advisement and development by collaborating with One-Stop Career Centers, local workforce development boards, and other local business and industry partners.
  • Prioritizes the development of early college programs to increase equity of opportunity and access to CTE statewide through its competitive funds.
  • Increases the number of high school students (at least 16 years old) participating in and completing pre-apprenticeship programs, and expands its community colleges’ efforts driven by the needs of the state’s health care and advanced manufacturing industries.

New Mexico

  • Ensures access to CTE in rural areas by promoting regional-level partnerships among secondary and postsecondary educators and business employers.
  • Ensures programmatic alignment between secondary and postsecondary education by promoting shared goals and resources, such as professional development, among its CTE educators.
  • Increases clarity in its state student data collection by providing consistent definitions of high school CTE students who complete postsecondary dual credit, Advanced Placement courses, and/or work-based learning experiences.

North Carolina

  • Places high schools on community college and university campuses so students simultaneously complete a high school diploma and an associate degree, transferable credit, or certificate.
  • Creates local and regional CTE education and workforce development programs that align worker preparation to employer needs in high-demand occupations.
  • Adopts a shared educational attainment goal among its public and private sectors so that by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians (ages 25-44) will hold a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential.

Puerto Rico

  • Launches recruitment efforts to promote CTE program awareness to underrepresented populations.
  • Expands existing CTE programs that are aligned with its high-skill, high-wage occupations in in-demand industries by leveraging the Perkins Reserve Funds.
  • Promotes job placement and provides workforce training opportunities among various industry sectors through CTE programs.

West Virginia

  • Embeds employability skills in all secondary CTE programs through its Simulated Workplace Initiative— one of the newest collaborations between its secondary schools and employers to assist schools in implementing workplace protocols.
  • Launches a statewide initiative to increase the number of West Virginians with earned industry-valued certificates and/or degrees.
  • Improves results for its “Earn a Degree Graduate Early Program” that prepares high school students for success in the workplace or postsecondary education.

For additional details on the combined state Perkins/WIOA plans, click here.