Business and education leaders in Maine are teaming up in an effort to boost the number of high school students who enroll in technical training programs over the next three years.
There's a shortage of young workers in Maine who have the skills that businesses say they need. The educators and employers now joining forces say vocational and technical training can bridge that gap. They say it's an underutilized option in Maine and are focused on ending an outdated view that Career Technical Training, or CTE, is for students who couldn't make it in college.
"You do not have to make a choice to either go into technical or seek a bachelor's degree. You don't have to make that choice anymore," said Dana Connors, president of the state Chamber of Commerce. "You can have the best of both worlds."
Connors and a business group called Educate Maine say they want to help double the number of students enrolled in Maine CTE programs by 2020, to 17,000 students.