February 19, 2019
The following is a letter from ECMC Group President and CEO Jeremy Wheaton.
ECMC Group and our family of organizations are proud to join this year's celebration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month®, a public awareness campaign each February founded by the Association for Career and Technical Education, to share the values of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.
At ECMC Group, we're uniquely positioned to address America's workforce development opportunities through education, investment and innovation. By fostering meaningful partnerships with businesses, educators and workforce development agencies, we strive for a comprehensive understanding of the needs of students, employers and the U.S. economy. Together, ECMC Group, our affiliates (Altierus Career College, ECMC Foundation and ECMC) and our partners are making an impact on CTE access and student success, helping to close the nation's middle-skills gap, improve student loan repayment and build the workforce of the future.
Amid a growing skills gap, Altierus Career College is on the front lines of providing CTE to educate, train and invest in America's future employees. Our career colleges illustrate an open-source model of CTE innovation that invites participation from community, industry and government. Our campuses offer hands-on training with professional tools and equipment, small lab sizes and a range of support services to help students graduate with confidence. To help promote career readiness, students undergo professional skills training embedded into the curriculum. We also partner with local employers to offer externships for many of our programs to incorporate industry trends and best practices, equipping students with the professional and industry skills vital to their success.
Despite the growing consensus in favor of expanding career education options, the ECMC Foundation is acutely aware of the challenges in offering quality, innovative CTE that provides a clear pathway to a career after graduation. We're making meaningful investments designed to support CTE programs and solutions, and to help close CTE's knowledge and people gaps in a holistic, grassroots way. This means funding research to build the evidence base of best practices, while also equipping postsecondary CTE leaders with the tools, resources and skills needed to advance in their field.
ECMC—a nonprofit corporation working to lower student loan default rates; sponsor college access and success initiatives and financial literacy programs; and provide resources to support student loan borrowers to successfully repay their loans—helps students learn which educational option, whether it's a traditional four-year college or an alternative CTE offering, is best suited to help them pursue a sustainable career in the field they love.
Throughout this month and beyond, I—and the entire ECMC Group family—look forward to hearing from postsecondary leaders, academics, policymakers and the private sector on how we can support innovative changes that meet the needs of today's students and help anticipate what employers will need now and into the future.
President and CEO, ECMC Group
We want to hear from you. Email us at CTE@ecmc.org to get in touch with ECMC Group with your ideas about how we can partner to close America's skills gap and train the workforce of the future.