Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce

The Global Learning Imperative for Career and Technical Education Programs at Community and Technical Colleges

Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce Paper cover

As the nature of work evolves at an ever-accelerating pace, workers will need to adapt to a state of constant change. To maintain relevance, employees will need to be lifelong learners, adjusting to shifting workplace demands and job responsibilities, and continuously engaging in professional development and the acquisition of new skills. Therefore, we must confront the challenge of reimagining our educational systems to address the needs and demands of the current and future economy. Because marketplaces and communities are now global, we must internationalize curriculum across disciplines in order to prepare the workforce of tomorrow to make decisions that are inclusive of diverse perspectives and experiences and to take action around issues beyond traditional borders. Postsecondary education, and, in particular, community and technical colleges, can and should be part of the process of preparing the future global workforce and citizenry. And as key providers of career and technical education (CTE) programs critical to the training and upskilling of the workforce, community and technical college administrators and faculty should include CTE programs as a critical part of the transition to globalized learning experiences. 

This new paper from the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, in partnership with AACC, ACTE, Advance CTE, and the Longview Foundation, seeks to demonstrate the need for community and technical college administrators and faculty to offer a curriculum with an intentional global education component, particularly within its CTE programs. This paper offers insight and examples from community and technical colleges committed to this charge. The examples in this paper are intended to support community and technical colleges and their faculty as they seek to integrate global competence into existing CTE course content to lead future generations of students into twenty-first-century careers.

Creating community and technical college CTE programs that offer opportunities for students to gain the skills of global competence will generate highly sought-after graduates to fill key jobs in sectors with a strong potential for growth in the next decade. These graduates will accrue the skills necessary to adapt to increasingly diverse demographic shifts, boost the U.S. economy, and solve problems of global significance. Ultimately, global education and CTE programs seek to meet the same objective: to prepare students for the emerging global workforce.

In the coming months, Asia Society will work to create new tools and resources to assist postsecondary CTE faculty in integrating global issues and perspectives into their courses. If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Heather Singmaster, Director of CTE, Center for Global Education, Asia Society: hsingmaster@asiasociety.org. To view current tools and resources for middle and high school educators, click here