A Look Inside NJ’s Career Classrooms
Video Showcases the Modern CTE Experience
The NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools represents the vocational-technical school districts in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. One of the Council’s consistent goals is to depict the modern career and technical education (CTE) experience that these county schools provide. Today’s parents/guardians and even professionals may view the schools through an outdated lens, unaware that the career programming offered extends well beyond traditional trades and appeals to a broad student population.
The Council aimed to create a short, engaging video to reframe the common CTE narrative for key audiences. The video delivered the messages – reinforced by visuals – that NJ’s county vocational-technical schools are for any student in pursuit of a successful future, whether that includes college, a career, or both, and that the schools provide focused opportunities to give each student a jump-start.
Laura Bishop Communications worked with the Council to outline a script centered around the words “focus” and “future” to directly support the main messages we wanted to convey. We then selected three county vocational-technical school districts for onsite filming and worked with another to gather existing B-roll, or complimentary footage.
Our choice of locations highlighted the depth and breadth of programming, through footage of both customized classroom spaces and passionate students and educators. We also aimed to show the in-classroom, extracurricular, and on-the-job experiences that enhance learning and help students take purposeful steps toward discovering and pursuing their goals. We worked with a video production partner, Media Active, to film and edit the video.
The video won first place in the New Jersey School Public Relations Association’s 2023 School Communication Awards. Since its debut at the start of 2023, it has been shared on the Council’s social media accounts under the @CareerTechNJ handles; on its website, careertechnj.org; via the Council’s Constant Contact newsletter sent to policymakers and school leaders; with all 21 county vocational-technical school districts for them to share with their own audiences; through links in the Council’s monthly Career Classroom column in ROI-NJ; and via personalized emails to policymakers, professional organizations, relevant news outlets, business leaders, and others. The video is evergreen, so the Council will continue sharing it in subsequent communications to further the reach of its messages.