In an effort to increase statewide awareness about Career and Technical Education (CTE) in NH, the public is invited to attend CTSO Day at the State House Library Map Room on Tuesday, February 18.

In addition to presentations to elected officials by Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) state officers, the annual event features demonstrations, food prepared by students and more.

“It’s a chance for school administrators and people from industry to come together and promote what is taking place in CTE across the state,” said Al Lawrence, owner of Artisan Electric. “If you aren’t sure what CTE is or how it benefits New Hampshire, this is a great chance to learn more about it.”

According to Lawrence, CTSO Day is not a celebration, but rather an opportunity to advocate for CTE, which he “loosely defined as “hands-on, real-world learning that applies directly to a job or career.”

“It’s offered at high schools across the state, but there is still a misunderstanding about the jobs that result from this type education,” he said. “These are jobs in the building industry, health care, finance, automotive and other industries—CTE is much more diverse than people realize.”

This awareness, he said, is critical if the current gaps in the workforce are to be filled in the state.

“In my industry, for example, the average age for an electrician is over 50,” he said. “I’ve been trying to find a licensed electrician to fill an open position for months without luck. We need young people to understand there are more than just jobs in these industries, but well-paying careers.”

Serving as treasurer for SkillsUSA NH, part of a national nonprofit organization that serves teachers, high school and college students to ensure America has a skilled work force, Lawrence said he plans to attend CTSO Day.

“I hope other business owners join me,” he said. “CTE is an existing workforce pipeline for numerous industries in this state that we really need to tap.”

CTSO Day takes place on Tuesday, February 18 from 9 am to 1 pm at the State House Library Map Room. Parking is available in the School Street Garage.

To learn more about CTE, visit nh-cte.org. To learn more about SkillsUSA NH, visit skillsusanh.org.