With 16 Career Clusters® and more than 75 different career pathways, today’s CTE offers students a wide variety of professions to pursue. Career pathways cover nearly every sector of today’s economy—and it’s no wonder why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the five fastest growing occupations, all five require an associate degree or less. From agriculture to health care, CTE is a critical component to building an American talent pipeline that will meet 21st century workforce demands. However, for students looking to enroll in CTE programs, navigating the many different options can be overwhelming.
Last October, Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education partnered to launch the Reach Higher Career App Challenge. The Challenge encouraged mobile app developers to build software to help students navigate the many different career and education paths available to them. Today, the First Lady announced the winner of the Challenge, ThinkZone Games, developer of “Hats & Ladders,” an app geared to assist secondary students navigating their career and education options.
The app includes an interactive self-assessment tool, mini-challenges, and other engaging activities to allow students to explore their many opportunities. Hats & Ladders is a good example of the new and innovative thinking in the CTE arena brought about by strong collaborations between policymakers, industry stakeholders, educators, parents and students.
As the First Lady said, “[Hats & Ladders] is a cool, new, exciting app that will open up a whole new world for young people.” ACTE congratulates ThinkZone Games and the other app submission finalists for their commitment to CTE and the next generation of American workers.
Note: Hats & Ladders will be available for beta testing in the spring of 2017. Click here to learn more and sign up to participate.