Career/Technical Education: Statewide Emphasis/Focus on Specific Area(s) Such asHigh Tech

Career/Technical Education: Statewide Emphasis/Focus on Specific Area(s) Such asHigh Tech

Twenty states have designated a specific area of focus for their CTE programs.

Why does it matter?

  • A state that determines an economic and workforce focus benefits from system assistance in revising curriculum and programs to match the needs.
  • Addressing the workforce needs of area business/industries may open the opportunity for business/school partnerships, apprenticeship programs, job shadowing, facilities and appropriate equipment that can be costly for schools.
  • Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and will be updated as new policies are enacted.

    Last updated: June 2008

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth for questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or

Statewide emphasis/focus on specific area(s) such as high tech
Arizona Semiconductor industry
Arkansas High tech
California No. However, there are specific regional focuses such as biotechnology in the San Diego area and bioscience in the Pasadena/Los Angeles region.
Delaware Delaware programs will emphasize the integration of academic and technical content and will include a sequence of courses that address the state's academic as well as career and technical education content standards. These programs of study will provide the effective academic and technical preparation necessary for student entry into high-skill, high-wage or high-demand occupations and/or related opportunities in postsecondary education. All students will be held to the graduation requirements which include the completion of rigorous academic courses and a three-credit planned and sequential career pathway. Program emphasis reflects regional labor market needs.
District of Columbia
Florida 2007 legislation creates the State Career and Professional Education Act to improve academic performance and to response to workforce needs. Act requires:
  • A school district to develop strategic plans to address and meet local and regional workforce needs and to establish a career and professional academy
  • Career courses lead to industry certification
  • A specified number of students must achieve certification or college credit for a course to continue
  • Students are able to transfer credits to state university system.
Hawaii Agriculture, Science and Technology
Idaho Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is one of the state's emphases.
Indiana Pre-engineering and biomedical sciences
STEM-based careers
Iowa Life sciences (including production agriculture, value added processing, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology)
Advanced manufacturing
Information solutions
Kansas STEM and Project Lead the Way (engineering, biomechanics, aeronautics and other applied math and science arenas) 
Maryland State emphasis within the career clusters, as follows:
  • Arts, Media and Communication - Interactive Media Production
  • Health and Biosciences - Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences
  • Human Resource Services - Homeland Security
  • Information Technology - Cisco Networking and Oracle Database Modeling
  • Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology - Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
  • Transportation Technologies - ASE/NATEF Automotive Technology
Minnesota Biomedical, engineering and math
Missouri Pre-engineering
Nevada Health Sciences
New Hampshire Advanced manufacturing, engineering, biotechnology.  Moving towards STEM as an area of potential growth.
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota An emerging technology program rotates high tech equipment among 80 area schools. 
  • Health Care
  • Aerospace/Aviation
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Energy and Construction
  • STEM
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania's STEM Initiative
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota Focus on labor market needs of health science, STEM, and programs that align with postsecondary opportunities.
Industry certification programs in information technology and ProStart for the hospitality industry.
Texas The governor has identified six industry clusters for economic growth:
  • Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Biotechnology and Life Sciences
  • Information and Computer Technology
  • Petroleum Refining and Chemical Products
  • Energy
  • State's career and technical education plan emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the state is currently in the process of beginning six Governor's Career and Technical STEM Academies.
  • High performance manufacturing
  • High academic and technical skills
  • Statewide articulation agreements with community colleges
West Virginia

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