PPP believes career and skills-based technical education are a good investment for the student who wishes to earn competitive wages and gain experience and maturity immediately after graduating from high school. Work experience helps to refine the career path allowing CTE graduates to continue their education to obtain a college degree in less time with little or no debt. The education to work landscape is changing rapidly and PPP’s goal is to widen the pathway to meaningful work and economic security. Career fields such as cybersecurity, welding, fashion design, the culinary arts, automotive, aviation technology, pharmacy, EMTs and health related careers, carpentry, construction, cosmetology, robotics, and aerospace all have the potential to generate important resources that give the skills-based student an advantage in the pursuit of ongoing educational opportunities coupled with real-world experience and the maturity it provides.
Sweeping changes in the nature of work itself have placed a lot of importance on career counseling that encourages trades skills development as a part of a path of life-long continuing education that includes a college degree after time in the workforce. Trade skills certificate holders who enter the workforce immediately obtain the skills necessary to earn a fulfilling and economically successful life. Marketable skills used right out of high school are an economic advantage that allows students to obtain a college degree or other continuing education with no debt.
For many, quality of life is tied to the feelings of accomplishment we get from the work we do in our careers. Student skills certifications can provide immediate income right after high school graduation, starting a life on their own right away without worrying about what kind of jobs will be available in four or six years and whether the education they got, and now owe for, will qualify them for those jobs.
Career and technical education is not an alternative to “college for all.” Rather, it is an enhanced path to the benefits that life-long education provides. For those students fortunate enough to have marketable skills, immediate income right after high school, and the maturity that comes with being in the job market while being financially responsible, can be the economic base that funds community college or a four-year degree. Skills-based training and enhanced career counseling can be the spark that ignites a long, productive life. PPP is committed to enhancing opportunities for students fortunate enough to participate and get certified in the booming trades’ industry.
PPP is dedicated to improving the pathways to meaningful work and economic success for kids today in the K-12 system. There are many roads to success in life and it is our goal to inspire a spark within each student that ignites a passion within them that lasts through a long, productive life. One of PPP’s initiatives is the Potoff Endowed Chair at the Pima Joint Technical Education District known as JTED. JTED is a tuition free CTE program for students under the age of 22. The objectives of the chair are to recruit students 10 years of age and older to exploratory courses at JTED, mentor and provide career guidance for current JTED students, and improve the pathway to a successful jobs through job placement assistance.
PPP’s support of career and technical education programs has largely been focused on the Pima Joint Technical Education District (Pima/JTED), a tuition-free CTE program for those under 22 in Southern Arizona.