ProveN Success

High school students in CTE/CTSOs go on to postsecondary education at a higher rate.


Economic Imapct

With more high school graduates than non-CTE/CTSO students and higher rates of post-secondary education, CTE/CTSO graduates contribute to the economy by learning the skills that translate to well-paid jobs. If the national average for high school graduation reached 90% (the average graduation rate for CTE/CTSO students is 94%), the economy would grow by $5.7 billion and $664 million in federal, state, and local taxes.

  • 46% of employers find difficulty finding skilled talent, which means a loss of $14,000 per unfulfilled job. CTE/CTSO graduates meet this demand because they learn in-demand skills while still in high school.
  • Talented students learn leadership skills and build networks so they can enter the job market quickly and need less time to train on the job.


With more than 2 million student members combined, Career and Technical Student Organizations integrate into Career and Technical Education programs and courses across the country. CTSOs extend teaching and learning through innovative programs, business and community partnerships and leadership experiences at the school, state and national levels. CTSOs are authorized by the U.S. Congress in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act. CTSOs are a powerful avenue for helping our nation address key challenges such as workforce development, student achievement, economic vitality and global competitiveness.

The foundation of CTSOs built upon Career and Technical Education (CTE), education designed to prepare students for their future world of work. CTE can be traced back all the way to the founding of the United States. From the beginning, our founding leaders knew the value of having a skilled and knowledgeable society. Since the 18th century, education in the U.S. has always had a framework that specifically encompassed a connection between education and preparation for the workforce. It was in the early 1900 when vocational education was officially signed into law, launching the public endorsement and funding allocations in Career and Technical Education at the federal level.

This is the principal source of federal funding and discretionary grantees for the improvement of Career and Technical Education programs across the nation.

Federal funding from the Carl D. Perkins CTE Act is just one form of funding utilized for CTSOs. In addition, CTSOs operate through other sources, including, but not limited to, membership dues, affiliation fees, student-led fundraisers, student out-of-pocket contributions, corporate partners, individual sponsors/donors, and funding allocations from school budgets.

Every CTSO has a different approach to competition. In general, students engage in competition to showcase their knowledge and abilities before industry professionals. Competitions are executed through different mediums ranging from hands-on demonstrations, to oral presentations, exams, and more. Top performing students recognition in the form of awards, scholarships, and qualifications for other levels of competition at the national and international levels.

The first step is to explore which CTSO best aligns with the CTE related courses and programs already present on the campus. Once the CTSO(s) are identified, a school administrator and/or teacher from that campus can reach out to the CTSO(s) of interest to learn more and inquire about the process to get started for that specific CTSO. To learn more about and get connected with the CTSOs, visit the Who We Serve page.

Our students thrive through partnerships with the community. Active volunteers, leaders, parents, organizations, businesses, and industry professionals all make valuable contributions of time, resources, and funding to CTSOs. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us!


Make an impact in Oregon’s workforce by investing in the lives of our student leaders