SALT LAKE CITY (September 17, 2018) – In response to growing employer demand for a better-prepared workforce, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s declaration of 2018 as the year of Career and Technical Education (CTE) across the state, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has finalized an agreement with Precision Exams and partnered with the coalition of Industry Engaged in Education to make it simpler for businesses to provide input on education standards and the skills being taught in CTE courses.
Businesses can now utilize Precision Exams’ online tool to provide input on CTE standards. Employers and industry experts simply register and rate standards relevant to their industry and professional experience. The link and tutorial to the Standards Rating Tool are found at industryengaged.org/membership/.
“Our ability to connect industry and education with a tool to review and give input on standards will result in teachers teaching and students learning the skills employers look for when making hiring decisions,” said Edson Barton, CEO of Precision Exams, noting how rapidly in-demand skills change in today’s marketplace. “When businesses dedicate the time to review education standards in subjects their future workers are learning, it benefits more than just our economy, it’s a tremendous help for educators and a great advantage for students.”
Until now, businesses have found it difficult to meaningfully engage in education without committing significant resources of time and money. This new agreement creates a more sustainable and scalable feedback loop for industry recognized standards. By reviewing and recommending changes to the standards – the very base of instructional design – engaged business leaders can ensure industry informs instruction in a way that results in a better-prepared workforce.
“We hire thousands of people per year and we are anxious to review the CTE standards to give educators and students a clearer understanding of the skills we are looking for,” said Andrew K. Smith, CEO/Co-Founder, Four Foods Group Holdings and Utah Entrepreneur of the Year. “The fact is, the better prepared an employee is when we make a hiring decision, the more positive the impact on our bottom line and the rest of the economy.”
The online tool is available for use by professionals in every industry. To jump-start the effort, USBE and Precision Exams will immediately work to engage members of the newly-formed business coalition, Industry Engaged in Education, which brings together 17 business associations and the businesses they represent to elevate industry’s participation in the development of CTE programs throughout the state.
“Local industry input coupled with recognition of the Career Skills certificates adds even more value for students as it directly ties the knowledge and skills learned to a pathway into high-demand roles with local employers,” said Thalea Longhurst, Utah State Career and Technical Education director at the Utah State Board of Education. “The Career Skills Assessment program, administered through Precision Exams, is utilized statewide and provides us with valuable program outcomes and data,”
Utah CTE programs offer nearly 300 course offerings and 170 certification exams across every major career cluster, including:
- Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
- Business Management & Administration
- Education & Training
- Health Science
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Interested members of the media are invited to take a guided tour through the standards evaluation tool. To schedule a one-on-one demonstration with Precision Exams, please contact Brock Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801.472.0175.
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