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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

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  • October 25, 2021 7:51 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    “Mask to Stay” and “Test to Play” Options Announced

    The Ohio Department of Health, Oct. 25 announced additional quarantine options, “Mask to Stay” and “Mask to Play,” for school districts and local health departments across the state. Out-of-school quarantining has the unintended consequence of reducing in-school learning and can place an added strain on parents, schools, and local health departments.

    “While vaccination and masking remain critical components of ensuring a safe school environment, to support in-school learning, we offer an in-school alternative to out-of-school quarantining for students and school staff exposed to COVID-19 in school settings and during school-related activities,” explained Dr. Vanderhoff. “Those exposed outside of school-related activities, such as in the household, should continue to follow standard quarantine guidelines.”

    The proposed changes incorporate mask-wearing and testing to reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19 within structured school settings and provide a safe alternative to out-of-school quarantine. The options below only apply to direct contacts in a school environment – those individuals who are identified as being directly exposed to COVID-19 by a positive case in a classroom or other school setting. COVID-19 is spread through sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing. The best practices for distancing are 3 feet with everyone masked, 6 feet if not masked. Tests can be either PCR or antigen tests, but they must be proctored or observed. The full guidance is available at

    “The ‘Mask to Stay’ and ‘Test to Play’ options are informed by a growing body of national experience, as well as from a pilot in Warren County, and experience shared by other local health departments pointing toward a low number of direct contacts that convert to cases within school settings,” Dr. Vanderhoff stated.

    Mask To Stay

    Direct contacts in a school environment, regardless of vaccination or masking status, may remain in the classroom environment if they:

    1. Wear a mask for 14 days after their last date of exposure.
    2. Self-monitor, or parent-monitor, for symptoms of COVID-19.
    3. Isolate and get tested if they start to experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 (regardless of level of severity).
    4. Consistent with guidance for others quarantining in lower-risk environments, students and staff may discontinue these quarantine procedures after seven days — if they meet two basic criteria: one – they don’t develop symptoms, and two – they test negative between days 5-7.

    While parents and students are responsible for symptom monitoring, if school staff or school nurses see a child exhibiting symptoms they should act accordingly.

    Test to Play

    Asymptomatic contacts in a school environment may continue to participate in extracurricular activities if they:

    1. Wear a mask when able. This includes wearing a mask during transportation, such as traveling on a team bus to and from games; while in locker rooms; while sitting or standing on the sidelines; and any time the mask will not interfere with breathing, the activity in which they are participating, or create a safety hazard.
    2. Test on initial notification of exposure to COVID-19.
    3. Test again between days 5-7 following exposure to COVID-19. If they are negative at this time, they will test out of quarantine after day 7 and can resume normal activities.

    School districts are also encouraged to consider same-day testing for athletic competitions where there is the potential of school-to-school exposure.

    Those who are fully vaccinated, as well as those who consistently wear masks in school, can already remain in the classroom i f exposed to COVID-19 in a school setting.

  • October 24, 2021 7:42 AM | Anonymous

    Upper Valley Career Center Electrical Trades Instructor Jeff Bertke was one of three grand prize winners to receive  $100,000 from Freight Tools for Schools. The prize recognizes teaching excellence and the money will be used for the UVCC electrical trades program. 

    Miami Valley Today reported on the story, below. A link to the article can be found here.

    Photo from Miami Valley Today

    Jeffrey Bertke, Electrical Trades instructor at the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC), won a $100,000 prize recognizing excellence in skilled trades education.

    Bertke is one of three Grand Prize winners of the 2021 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, and the funds from the prize will go back into the Electrical Trades program at UVCC.

    Danny Corwin, a representative of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, along with UVCC administrators, staff, and local business partners, surprised Bertke with the award.

    “This program at Upper Valley is spectacular,” Corwin said. This was the fifth year Harbor Freight Tools for Schools has awarded these prizes, and this was also the third time Bertke has applied for it.

    “The application itself is very rigorous,” Corwin said. He read from some of Bertke’s application, which read, “I love the connections I get to make with the next generations of leaders. I love to see the joy on their faces when they solve a problem or can be successful at something that no one else in their family can do.”

    “You’re making a difference, and we appreciate it,” UVCC Superintendent Jason Haak said.

    Bertke has been an electrical trades teacher at UVCC for 11 years. After graduating from the program in 1999, he earned his journeyman license and entered the industry with passion for the trade and a love for learning.

    After six years of industry experience, he was put in charge of teaching apprentices at his place of work—something he truly enjoyed and came in handy when his former high school teacher reached out to him in 2010 to ask if he was interested in teaching.

    Despite complications this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bertke persisted by including electrical simulators, online OSHA and employability skills training, and Cengage electrical curriculum to keep his students on track. He even taught students in-person from the school parking lot at times, maintaining distance and proctoring tests from his car.

    Twenty out of his 23 seniors qualified for a pre-apprenticeship through the Ohio Apprenticeship Council, meaning they can get their journeyman credential a year ahead of others around the state. The remaining three seniors qualified for other placement opportunities in electrical supply and maintenance. His program is one of three programs in the school that fill up within the first 24 hours of availability and has a waiting list.

    “I come to school every day with a smile on my face because I love what I do,” Bertke said following Thursday’s surprise. Bertke said he sought to highlight what his students were doing, saying, “We do amazing things and let’s keep shining that spotlight on us.”

    Bertke’s base curriculum is NCCER Core and Electrical Level 1, which saves his students one year of apprenticeship training. He revisits the curriculum every year with his board of advisory members and makes modifications where necessary to keep the program strong.

  • October 12, 2021 6:11 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The 134th Ohio General Assembly is busy at the statehouse after returning from summer recess last month.  Both the Ohio House and Senate are currently working through the latter part of the first year of the current 2-year biennium, so this (134th) session will continue into 2022.  

    Issues abound on the post-budget legislative agenda, including consideration of bills that address vaccine / mask mandates, sports betting, energy policy, and education / workforce development (among others). 

    Ohio ACTE continues to focus on incentivizing work-based learning and driver’s education via SB 166, which has passed the Senate and should receive a first hearing in the House by Oct. 15.  We also continue to monitor full implementation of the Fair School Funding Plan, which has been delayed until December of 2021.

    Other education-related bills currently under consideration in the Legislature include:

    • HB 73: Reduces number of required end-of-course examinations.
    • HB 105: Requires instruction in sexual abuse / violence prevention.
    • HB 151: Replaces OH Teacher Residency Program (including all performance based assessments) with new local teacher mentoring programs facilitated by a district’s local professional development committee.
    • HB 298: Eliminates 8 Governor-appointed positions at State Board of Education.
    • SB 1: Requires ½ credit of instruction in financial literacy as part of an elective or math course.
    • SB 229: Continues to allow the use of blended learning plans and potentially remote learning plans for this school year.
    by Will Vorys, Attorney and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel, Dickinson Wright Law Firm
  • October 11, 2021 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    Ohio ACTE is once again working with the Ohio Department of Education Office of CTE to identify five outstanding career-technical senior (Class of 2022) students to be recognized as part of the US Department of Education  National Presidential Scholars Program. This is the seventh year that career technical students will be represented among the US Presidential Scholars. Out of all the applicants nationwide, 20 CTE students will be recognized.  Each state may submit up to five scholars.  Click here for more information, the nomination form and to read about each of the this year's students and their accomplishments.

    For more information about the Presidential Scholars Program, click here.

  • October 01, 2021 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    On October 1, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD and Ohio Lottery Commission Director Pat McDonald provided an update on the Ohio Vax-2-School program, announcing that the prize money has been doubled to a total of $2 million in scholarships.

    Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, Ohioans aged 12-25 can enter online at or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) to win one of 150, $10,000 scholarships, or one of five, $100,000 grand prize scholarships.

    The scholarships, awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans, can be used at the Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or career program of the winner’s choice. This includes programs offered at Ohio's Technical Centers.

    The Ohio Department of Health is using a portion of its Coronavirus Relief Funds to fund this innovative public outreach campaign and initiative.

  • September 27, 2021 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced that the eleventh application period for TechCred will open on October 1st and close on October 29th.

    “TechCred works for both Ohioans and Ohio businesses,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “There is no better time than now for employers to upskill their existing workforce with the skills necessary to remain competitive in today’s tech-infused economy.”

    Since the program launched in October 2019, a total of 1,419 Ohio employers have been approved for TechCred, which will fund up to 26,872 tech-focused credentials to upskill Ohio workers. The results of the tenth round, which closed on August 30th, will be announced in the coming weeks.

    “Thanks to the investment in people being made by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted through TechCred, thousands of Ohioans now have new, in-demand skills and businesses across the state have a more highly skilled workforce,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik. “With another round of TechCred opening now, more companies have the opportunity to boost their business by providing their employees with advanced training.”

    TechCred helps businesses address their workforce needs by upskilling current and prospective employees. Employers simply need to identify the specific skills they need, the number of employees they want to upskill, and which training provider they want to use. Businesses of all sizes, from any industry, can apply online at and the state will reimburse up to $2,000 for each training upon completion of a credential.

    “As of today, Ohio’s workforce and economy are stronger thanks to the thousands of credentials funded through the TechCred program,” said Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “The success of this program is a credit to the vision of the DeWine-Husted administration and the ability to respond to the needs of regional employers.”

    The state budget allocated funding for an additional 20,000 credentials through the program in each of the next two fiscal years to help Ohio businesses keep up with the demands of new technologies.

    Learn more about the program by visiting

    Questions about TechCred can be sent to TechCred@Development.Ohio.Gov.

  • September 14, 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), announced the launch of a new Fiber Optic Technician program at Tri-County Career Center in Nelsonville, Ohio. Fiber Optic Technicians perform functions relating to the deployment and operation of a fiber-optic network. The announcement is part of a larger effort launched today through OWT and BroadbandOhio to grow the workforce needed to expand broadband access and 5G.

    The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy underscores the significant public and private investments being made in broadband and 5G at the state and federal level, which in turn is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in Ohio over the next decade. In an effort to ensure that Ohio has a skilled and prepared workforce to fill these kinds of jobs, the strategy outlines a plan for increasing broadband industry career awareness and creating more training and education programs in the state.

    “In Ohio and across the nation there is a sense of urgency to expand high-speed internet, but you can’t expand the infrastructure without a workforce to build it,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “One way we are building that workforce in Ohio is through the innovative Fiber Optic Technician program at Tri-County Career Center, where you can earn the skills and certificates in as little as six and a half weeks and start a new career that pays well and provides long-term stability.”

    Lt. Governor Husted traveled to Tri-County Career Center in Athens County to promote the Fiber Optic Technician program, which is one of only four Fiber Optic Association (FOA) approved programs in the state. Fiber Optic Technicians perform functions relating to the deployment and operation of a fiber-optic network. This primarily includes splicing and installation of fiber. Splicing is the physical skill of using a fusion splicing machine to melt two separate fiber-optic strands together in high-precision. This is often done hundreds of times to connect two large fiber-optic cables together, as well as when additional customers are added to a network.

    The State of Ohio provided $30,000 to purchase equipment and the tools needed to launch this program and worked with the industry to find an instructor. Additionally, up to $10,000 of the $30,000 grant may be used for tuition assistance to reduce the cost for prospective students.

    “Tri-County is excited for this awesome opportunity to work with the state and Horizon to bring Broadband training to Southeastern Ohio which will provide job opportunities for our local residents,” said Connie Altier, Superintendent of the Tri-County Career Center. “The opportunities for them are so promising!

    The strategy announced today addresses three key issues:

    • Increasing broadband industry career awareness by exposing middle school and high school students to the industry through curriculum and internships
    • Developing and supporting more education and training programs to educate and train Ohioans (similar to the Fiber Optic Technician program at Tri-County Career Center)
    • Capitalizing on state and federal funding programs, like TechCred and WIOA, to help finance the education and training that will bring to market the talent supply needed for the broadband and 5G industry in Ohio

    “Horizon embraces unique and innovative public-private partnerships with a commitment to driving fiber broadband technology throughout the state,” said Brian Riley, Senior Vice President of Operations for Horizon. “As a rapidly growing company in this industry, we understand the staffing challenges. That is why we believe so strongly in our partnership with the State and TCCC to help grow the talent pool by training and developing candidates.”

    “Our country is on the verge of investing tens of billions of dollars into broadband and communications infrastructure, but without significant investments in career and technical training programs, we may not have enough communications workers to carry out mandates in federal and state broadband programs," said Todd Schlekeway, President and CEO of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. "Under the leadership of Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio is addressing this critical workforce problem and the programs being developed in Ohio will serve as a model for other states. NATE commends the State of Ohio for its leadership and we look forward to working together to build a pipeline of safe and efficient tower technicians who can deploy broadband to rural, unserved, and underserved communities.”

    “As the FCC's BDAC report highlighted, there is a mismatch between workforce skills and the needs of the industry,” said Tim House, Executive Vice President of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). “The full deployment of the infrastructure needed for 5G will require increased investment in workforce training and reskilling. We look forward to working with Lt. Governor Husted to help him fulfill his vision, to prepare Ohioans for jobs building the next generation of 5G broadband infrastructure and to transform the workforce system so that everyone has an opportunity to thrive in this evolving digital economy.”

    The “Strengthening Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Workforce” Strategy can be found on the BroadbandOhio website. Here is a PDF version of the 5G Workforce Strategy Document.

    Learn more about the Fiber Optic Technician program by visiting

  • September 07, 2021 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    The Ohio ACTE Fall Leadership & Empowerment Meeting will take place Sept. 24 from 9am-3pm at West Shore Career Tech at Lakewood High School in Lakewood with networking Sept. 23.  Click here for agenda, details and to register.  This meeting is FREE for organizational members and Division leaders.

    Image result for leadership and empowermentThe topic for this year's event is "rebuilding bigger and better after a pandemic." The Leadership & Empowerment Meeting is planned by the Ohio ACTE President, Bill Dimascio,  and focuses on timely career-tech and leadership topics. Speakers for this year's meeting include Jacob Duritsky with Team NEO who will give an update on the economic outlook for Ohio; Joel Clark with who will share new perspectives on CTE; and Kent Zeman, Treasurer for Lakewood City Schools. The day will also include West Shore program highlights and tours.

    There is still time to register but space is limited, so register today! It is free to attend for division leaders, organizational affiliate members, and Shoemaker Institute participants. The cost for others to attend is $75 for Ohio ACTE members and $95 for non-members.


    CareerSafe has generously sponsored the event. More information and the registration link can be found here.

  • September 05, 2021 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    The Ohio Department of Education has quality, free content for family members to better engage with their student learners, called INFOhio.

    These resources play an integral part in building family engagement in schools by offering equitable resources and services to create opportunities for success for all Ohio communities, schools and families.

  • September 05, 2021 12:14 PM | Anonymous

    The Ohio Department of Education, in partnership with the Educational Service Centers of Northeast and Central Ohio, and the Building Bridges to Careers Network will facilitate virtual Career-Readiness Leaders Meetups again this school year. 

    The first meetup of the 2021 school year will take place on Sept. 14 at 2:30 p.m. and will focus on introducing the Career Connections Framework. More information about these meetups can be found here.

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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

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