Influencing Employability & Soft Skills for the 21st Century

CTE Directors: Inspire a Culture of Content in Your School District

School districts have the unique ability to create fresh and engaging content on a regular / daily basis. From classroom instruction and presentations, sports, school events, and other activities, there is a mountain of content waiting to be shared with an interested audience - students, parents, teachers, the community, potential employers, and the general public.

CTE Directors are Servant Leaders

"The servant-leader is servant first." The desire to serve, the "servant's heart," is a fundamental characteristic of a servant-leader. It is not about being servile, it is about wanting to help others. It is about identifying and meeting the needs of colleagues, customers, and communities.” Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader, 1970.

3 CTE Director "To Dos"

1. Lead by example. Deliver the experience you would want to have across the board. Utilize LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to reach your audiences in context of their day. Learn and evolve from the feedback you receive and the analytics on each channel. Prioritize what is most effective and index further in that direction.

2. Give attribution to your students and teachers. Make the constituents you serve the stars of the content program. In the course of the day, capture moments of impact and share as a cadence of communication that tell the story and deepens the CTE narrative.

3. Prime the pump.

a.  Educate employers on student readiness to assist organizations to compete in today's connected economy. Go one step beyond and create a community - a group on LinkedIn is a good place to start - where you can continuously engage and continue the communication and collaboration with your partners and the community. Opening the digital dialogue with employers and the community will spur interest and awareness, and enable offline interactions leading to engagement with CTE and students. Don’t forget to directly ask for involvement as guest lecturers and internships as an advocate for your teachers and students.

b. Embrace alumni to influence internships and job opportunities / employment. As you build your alumni community on LinkedIn for the institution, make this audience active members of the CTE network. Influence understanding of related CTE program activities and achievements like certifications and discipline-specific achievements / advancements. The alumni network should be the first audience to enable for internships and ask for school involvement. Alumni may also be able to encourage corporate donations of needed equipment and funding.

c. Train your team / teachers and students in the skills needed to succeed. Provide CTE instructors and students with a communication skill set that leads to employability and soft skills for the 21st century. Social business is a competence that needs to be learned, and then employed in accordance with personal or brand goals.

Conclusion

Your success will be evidenced in the student employability results and competitiveness. And, once a measurable program is in place, the next most important job will be to train and further engage your partners, employers, and marketplace. This will enable the communication and effectiveness of the entire community.