Documentary focus is on career-technical education

Documentary focus is on career-technical education

The documentary is an opportunity for Ohio students and their families to gain a better understanding of career-technical education and its many benefits.


How will Ohio face its looming skills gap? Travel across the state to explore new ways of preparing young people for skilled jobs with “The Career Path Less Taken,” a new Ohio public television special.

Co-produced by a statewide public media collaborative of CET in Cincinnati, ideastream in Cleveland and WOSU Public Media in Columbus, the half-hour documentary is set to air Thursday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. on Ohio public television channels.

“The Career Path Less Taken” is part of the “American Graduate: Getting to Work” nationwide public media initiative, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

A companion digital toolkit will be available online from CET, ideastream and WOSU Public Media to help schools and community organizations facilitate local screenings of the documentary.

The screening toolkit includes a discussion guide specifically designed to inspire conversations about career options and planning among families and communities. The documentary also will be available on each station's YouTube and Facebook pages and on the PBS Video App at the time of the broadcast premiere. Viewers are encouraged to follow the conversation on social media using #AmGrad and #CareerPathOH.

“Through 'American Graduate,' public television and radio stations in communities across the country cover timely education issues that matter on both local and national levels. ‘The Career Path Less Taken’ taps all three of these stations’ unique partnerships and strengths in service to the statewide community,” said Debra Sanchez, CPB senior vice president of education and children’s content. “We hope all young people across Ohio are inspired to explore the many options available to them because of this special.”

In 2018, as part of the “American Graduate” initiative, the statewide public media collaborative of CET, ideastream and WOSU Public Media co-produced “Talking Jobs with Ohio’s Next Governor,” a forum with then Ohio gubernatorial candidates Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine that addressed education and jobs with young students and workers across Ohio. This year the collaborative continues its “American Graduate” efforts with “The Career Path Less Taken.”

“The Career Path Less Taken” challenges traditional notions of success by putting the spotlight on innovative career-tech programs. The documentary dispels common myths about career and technical education and informs students and parents about the variety of career-development options available across Ohio, during and after high school.

Labor shortages in high-growth fields such as computer technology, health-care services and advanced manufacturing threaten economic growth at both the state and federal level. Ohio is invested in growing a skilled labor force and increasing emphasis on multiple options for education and training.

“The Career Path Less Taken” demonstrates there are many pathways to skilled jobs that do not require a four-year college degree. The pathways provided by career technical education are proving invaluable to both students and employers and are helping to close the skills gap.

“It used to be that students had to choose between a college pathway or a vocational track,” said David Fogarty, CET president and CEO. “This documentary shows us programs that bring together challenging academics and workplace learning so students are prepared for the highly skilled jobs of tomorrow.”

“This significant documentary from our Ohio public media collaborative has the power to change a lot of lives,” said Kevin Martin, ideastream president and CEO. “For young adults who feel uncertain about what lies ahead, ‘The Career Path Less Taken’ will provide them with ideas and options toward discovering a sustainable, fulfilling career.”

“This important documentary continues the statewide focus by Ohio public television stations on building a stronger Ohio,” said Tom Rieland, general manager of WOSU Public Media. “By producing public forums, podcasts, radio programming and a digital video series, we are targeting young people to show there is not just one path to a satisfying, well-paid career.”

“This documentary is a fantastic opportunity for Ohio students and their families to gain a better understanding of career-technical education and its many benefits,” state superintendent of public instruction Paolo DeMaria said. “Hands-on learning is more engaging and exciting for students and can lead to amazing career opportunities. We also know that career-tech students are ready for college and are very successful when they get there. I’m grateful to Ohio's public media stations for telling this story and for bringing attention to this form of education in our state.”

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