As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be finally settling down into a phase that will allow things to return to something approaching normal, many educators wonder exactly what that new “normal” will look like.
Career and technical education (“CTE”) programs, in particular, suffered greatly during the pandemic, as distance learning severely disrupted the in-person, hands-on teaching models that set CTE programs apart from other types of instruction.
Fortunately, it’s possible to take your CTE program to the next level with pandemic funding targeted at elementary and secondary schools.
Read on to learn more about how you can secure funding that can help you start or revitalize your CTE program to teach your students the relevant skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Are There Still Pandemic Funds Available?
The last few years have been something akin to a rollercoaster ride. The ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic have stressed us out and changed our lives in ways we never imagined possible.
As infection numbers continue to decline, many people are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. As we all learn to cope with what our new “normal” looks like, CTE instructors, in particular, must take stock of their programs and figure out how to improve and revitalize them in the wake of the pandemic.
The issue, of course, is money. Multiple stimulus bills over the course of the past few years provided millions of dollars of relief funding for educational institutions faced with the necessity of embracing virtual learning.
With the pandemic seemingly waning, isn’t all of that pandemic relief funding gone already? We’re happy to report that it is not. In fact, there is still plenty of pandemic funding that educators can take advantage of to start or improve CTE programs.
Specifically, Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (“ESSER”) funds are still available. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been three rounds of ESSER funding, the most recent being ESSER III as part of the 2021 ARP Act.
Can Pandemic Funds Be Used for CTE Programs?
For instructors wondering whether ESSER III funds can be used to start or revitalize CTE programs, the answer is yes! The 2021 ARP Act requires that 20% of ESSER III funds be used “to address learning loss,” while 80% can be used in a wide variety of ways.
For CTE instructors, it’s important to note that ESSER III funds can specifically be spent for any uses already authorized under The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (“Perkins Act”). Many CTE instructors are already familiar with Perkins Act funding and its impact on CTE programs nationwide.
So what could you do for your CTE program with ESSER III funds? You could invest in an Amatrol eLearning subscription to enable your student to continue their studies remotely if and when pandemic conditions require distance learning.
You could also add physical training equipment that will allow your students to gain the real-world, hands-on skills they need to succeed in the modern workplace. With pandemic rules subsiding, making sure your students have the hands-on skills they need will be more important than ever.
Instructors can also set up students for success by developing new certification programs, such as those offered by the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA). Students earning SACA certifications or micro-credentials will be prepared to show potential employers they have the skills they need to make an immediate impact in the workplace.
How Can I Secure Pandemic Funds for My CTE Program?
Securing government funding for your CTE program may seem like a tall order to some instructors, but don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as it may seem.
In fact, our good friends at Lab Midwest have put together a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process. Check out The Ultimate Guide to ESSER Funds for Career & Technical Education online!
Lab Midwest also produced an informative webinar on ESSER funding that you can watch on YouTube. Just click the link to watch and learn how ESSER funds can help you transform your CTE program today.
Contact Amatrol to Learn More!
How can you put your ESSER funds to work in the most effective way possible? Contact the experts at Amatrol for a consultation on your program’s goals and what it will take to achieve them.
With over 30 years of experience, Amatrol remains the world’s leader in technical education training systems and eLearning curriculum. Amatrol recognizes the importance of teaching the relevant skills future workers need to thrive in today’s jobs.
Amatrol’s eLearning offers flexible technical training through superb content with strong interactivity for skill development with 24/7 access. Eye-popping graphics, 3D simulations, videos, and complete explanations combine to develop technical skills for modern jobs.
Amatrol’s hands-on training systems are designed by engineers and subject matter experts and loaded with real-world, industrial components for the closest possible experience to working on-the-job. They are heavy-duty and ready to stand up to frequent use and inexperienced users. For times when access to equipment is limited, learners can still gain hands-on experience using Amatrol’s virtual trainers.
Amatrol’s virtual simulators replicate hands-on equipment in such great detail that learners will feel like they are using the actual equipment. Learners perform essentially the same tasks using virtual trainers that they would using the hands-on systems.
Consult with an expert at Amatrol today to learn how you can take the first step toward teaching your students the skills that will set them up for success in the modern workplace.
About Duane Bolin
Duane Bolin is a former curriculum developer and education specialist. He is currently a Marketing Content Developer in the technical training solutions market.