Texas is burgeoning with middle-skills jobs but is failing to produce an aptly skilled workforce. Career and Technical Education introduces students to middle-skills opportunities, but industry exposure will further encourage students to pursue these careers.

Key Points:

  • Texas is experiencing a “middle-skills” gap, wherein there are too few labor-force participants with more education or training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.
  • “College for All” should no longer be the default for high school students—especially given most of their career goals will not necessitate a four-year degree.
  • Research shows that the most effective Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs provide work-based opportunities (internships) but schools struggle to provide adequate numbers of teachers for these courses.
  • Accordingly, Texas Education Code §42.154 can allow districts to use part/all of their CTE allotment to offset businesses’ costs for employing paid interns—enabling students to gain hands-on experience.