Despite spending over $3 billion annually, technical education is failing to prepare young people for high-wage, high-demand careers in trades and Information Technology. About 22% of the class of 2019 were found neither in the workforce nor enrolled in any postsecondary institution six months after graduation.

Key points

– Technical education is focused on college-bound programs such as Health Sciences and STEM, corresponding with a shortage of workers in traditional vocational occupations and Information Technology. Texas cannot prosper without people to build and maintain its physical and technological infrastructure.

– Annual career and technical education (CTE) spending in Texas exceeds that of the federal government by nearly $2 billion.

– Despite billions in government spending, Texas students are not leaving high school career-ready.

– Traditional CTE programs are being crowded out by new-era CTE courses, exacerbating the middle skills gap in the state.