The movement to green the American economy is gaining momentum. At the federal level, as well as in places like Illinois, Maine and New York City, lawmakers have passed legislation designed to reduce carbon emissions while creating green jobs in diverse industries such as transportation, construction, environmental management and agriculture. These have all shown growth in recent years and are predicted to continue to do so.

This green revolution will require an army of well-trained workers — yet federal investments in job training have focused mostly on adults. To build a healthy pipeline of skilled labor, policymakers should apply lessons from a robust body of evidence about successful career and technical education programs for high school students to create pathways for careers in the green economy.

More than 12 million high school students are enrolled in CTE; high-quality CTE programs have been shown to boost high school graduation, college enrollment and earnings. With curricula organized around specific career themes, they offer internships and other work-based learning experiences, and provide opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials and college credits while still in high school. CTE programs also appear to work particularly well for students who have lagged in educational attainment, including young men and students with disabilities.

CTE programs have been successful across fields of study, suggesting that similar models focused on green jobs and careers may have similar effects. In fact, promising green CTE programs are cropping up all over the country. In Malta, New York, the Clean Technologies Early College High School, a P-TECH model school, offers learning experiences in clean energy, business and solar installation, opportunities to earn certificates in photovoltaics and a pathway to associate’s degrees in electrical construction and maintenance. The New York Harbor School on Governors Island in New York City provides programs in fields related to marine health, including aquaculture and marine systems technology, and offers instruction in professional diving and vessel operation, as well as paid internships.

Read the full article about CTE training for green jobs by Rachel Rosen at The 74.