For Immediate Release
Posted: April 01, 2020


New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-0448 |

CTE students and graduates are ready to serve, equipped to succeed

CTE students and graduates are ready to serve, equipped to succeed
By Frank Edelblut

The unprecedented times we now find ourselves in have required everyone to adapt and step-up to new responsibilities. In education, our school leaders and teachers are leading and have received national recognition for how well and how quickly they pivoted their instructional model to remote instruction and support.

Across the state, teachers are engaging students in new ways and meeting support needs that facilitate the learning. These include food programs and creative approaches to meeting the support needs of students with individual education plans.

The challenges the state faces are likely still in front of us as the effects of the pandemic extend through our communities. In the face of such disruption and difficulty, New Hampshire citizens will stay strong and rise to the challenge.

In some ways, New Hampshire's education system has been preparing for this moment for a long time. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the state prepare students across the state with skills essential to this very moment. If New Hampshire finds the circumstances continue to deteriorate, we have trained a cadre of students and graduates to respond. Some of these programs include:

Health Science students have the skills and heart to care for those that may occupy expanded flex sites for COVID-19 patients.

Emergency Medical Technicians/Fire Rescue students can aid in screenings or help transport those whose illness at home has progressed to the point where they need to go the hospital or expanded flex site.

Construction trade students can help assemble and build the facilities, get them powered, plumbed, ventilated and operational, so they can serve patients.
Manufacturing, design and welding students can support the many New Hampshire companies converting manufacturing facilities from traditional product lines to critical items such as hand sanitizer, N95 masks and ventilators.

Automotive and diesel mechanic students can help keep the supply chain operating by keeping everything from FedEx and UPS delivery vans to 18-wheelers on the road and operational.
Teacher education students can support our critical responders and medical staff by caring for and helping to educate their children while they serve the citizens of New Hampshire.

Culinary Arts students have been trained to prepare food at commercial volumes, keeping all of these volunteers fed and healthy so they can continue to serve.

New Hampshire has established a website for volunteers to step up and help their fellow citizens. If you are one of our CTE students or graduates, at least 18 years old, and willing to volunteer putting those essential skills you have been learning to work in support of your fellow citizens, its game time.

Parents may be uneasy about their children leaving the house to help provide these essential services. No one is asking any student to do anything that makes them feel unsafe. This initiative has been vetted by the public health professionals at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and is consistent with state orders on social distancing and the stay-at-home order for non-essential services. And it is completely voluntary.

The services our CTE students and graduates would provide are essential. Their skills can help bolster our health care infrastructure as well as our first responders and volunteers. I know many of these students. They are great kids. They are strong. They are brave. Through the hard work of the students and educators in our CTE programs, these students have gained skills essential to a time like this.

Throughout our history, our young people have stepped up to help in times of crisis. I can tell you that these kids are ready. If they are willing to put their skills to work, essential businesses across our state can use their help.

Through their programming, these students and graduates have demonstrated that they are ready to serve, and equipped to succeed.

Frank Edelblut is Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education.