SkillsUSA, Manufacturing Institute, Educational Research Center of America

Launch New National Research Consortium

FARMINGDALE, N.Y., February 25, 2015 – As talk about being “college and career ready” continues to dominate many education debates, SkillsUSA, The Manufacturing Institute, and the Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) announced today that they are forming a new research consortium to ensure a strong national discussion among parents, educators and counselors, and students on career and technical education (CTE) and the career pathways that result from CTE.

The consortium will work collaboratively to explore students’ aspirations toward a range of careers that are made possible by CTE and some of the influences on those aspirations.  Feedback from students through surveys will also be compared and contrasted with trends and opportunities in CTE careers.  SkillsUSA, The Manufacturing Institute, and ERCA have agreed to a multi-year engagement that will help use the data to better prepare students for their careers ahead.

“SkillsUSA is pleased to join the Manufacturing Institute and ERCA in this research consortium and in recommending this survey to CTE students and educators,” said Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA.  “It will enable us to better align our services with student needs and prepare them for careers ahead.”

“Today’s manufacturing needs a skilled workforce and by working with all partners, this industry can continue to flourish,” said Manufacturing Institute President Jennifer McNelly. “We are excited to partner with SkillsUSA and the Educational Research Center of America to better understand perceptions of CTE pathways so we are better able to promote the fantastic careers that exist in manufacturing.”

“As the economy evolves, students, parents, guidance counselors, and educators continue to look for the best opportunities for today’s learners,” ERCA Executive Director Ed Doody said. “With this new research initiative, we expect to better inform all involved in the process about CTE career paths, focusing on both what is needed today and what is needed tomorrow. And there are no better partners to lead such an effort than SkillsUSA and The Manufacturing Institute.”

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a not-for-profit association that serves more than 300,000 member high school, college and postsecondary students — and their instructors — in trade, technical and skilled service instructional programs. SkillsUSA partners with educators and students and with business and industry to help ensure the United States has a well-prepared, rising skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 600 companies, trade associations and labor unions at the national level. SkillsUSA has had more than 11.6 million annual members since its founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information on SkillsUSA, see:

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification, and development of world-class manufacturing talent. The Institute is the place where we exceed expectations and deliver results to help close the skills gap.  For more information on The Manufacturing Institute see:

About ERCA

For nearly 20 years, the Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) has pursued a mission of helping high school students and their families to identify a college- and career-ready pathway. ERCA helps families identify student options on career pathways to life success, including two- and four-year college opportunities. Through a partnership with and the support of ASL Marketing, ERCA provides introductions to post-secondary institutions. Additionally, as part of its mission, ERCA annually awards postsecondary scholarships to deserving students seeking to improve their communities and society at large. Working in concert with partner organizations engaged in education and workforce development, ERCA’s research has a singular objective; motivating students to explore career pathways relevant to their interests, education and passions. For more information, visit and follow @ERCAResearch on Twitter.

Media Contact:

Ed Doody, Executive Director, ERCA