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The Colorado Association for Career and Technical Education (CACTE) is the state professional association for Career and Technical Education.

Since 1917, CACTE has been the largest state organization supporting Colorado Career and Technical Educators in their efforts to prepare students for career and life success. CACTE’s members include teachers, administrators, teacher educators, career counselors, teacher candidates, business partners and other career tech professionals.

CACTE is affiliated and unified with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the national organization for Career and Technical Education. CACTE is made up of several divisions (content areas or practice settings). When you join CACTE, you will also join one (or more) of the divisions, plus ACTE. Each division has its own leadership team, professional development activities, communications, etc. The divisions are listed and linked on the homepage of the website.

What does the Colorado Association for Career & Technical Education have to offer as the premier professional association for CTE?


  • Network with others in similar positions - share resources

  • Annual CACTE CareerTech Summit in mid to late July, with special member rates

  • CCCS "CTE in CO" Secondary Credentialing Session face-to-face at the Summit

  • Access to Colorado CTE Learn, online professional development platform

  • Mostly monthly e-newsletter "Connecting with CACTE"

  • Timely updates on CACTE website

  • Member rates to attend the ACTE VISION conference


  • CACTE Year Round Advocacy activities, including CTE Advocacy Lesson Plan

  • CTE Month Celebration in February

  • CACTE opportunities at the ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS)

  • CACTE's fabulous legislative specialists, Tonette Salazar and Dylan Peper

  • Opportunity to serve on CACTE Legislative Committee or CACTE Outreach Committee


  • Gain leadership experience as a Division committee member and/or officer

  • Put your skills to work on a CACTE committee - Awards, Conference Planning, Finance, Legislative, Membership, Outreach and more....

  • Serve as a CACTE officer on the Executive Committee - secretary and treasurer need no previous CACTE Board experience

  • Apply to serve as a Region V or ACTE Fellow, with monetary support from CACTE

  • Apply to be a mentor or mentee in the ACTE IAED program (Inclusion/Access/Equity/Diversity)

When you belong to CACTE, it's a 3 for 1 deal!  Your $150 dues** include membership in ACTE (Association for Career & Technical Education) at the national level, CACTE and your Colorado Division (content area) - hard to beat! **CBAM dues total $175 - see "Join CACTE Now)

Have questions or need more information about CACTE?  Contact the Executive Director,



The CACTE mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.

CACTE’s purposes are:

  • Leadership and Program Improvement: to foster excellence in Colorado Career and Technical Education.

  • Policy Development: to advocate for public policy in Colorado to benefit Career and Technical Education.

  • Knowledge Connectivity:  to act as  a clearing house for education and information relating to all aspects of Colorado Career and Technical Education, while providing access to professional development.

  • Awareness:  to create public awareness of Colorado Career and Technical Education.



Here is the YouTube link to the video from the 2017 CACTE CareerTech Summit, celebrating 100 years of Colorado Career & Technical Education!  Enjoy and share it widely!

Many thanks to Shelley Goerdt and Mainstream Video Production for putting this production together.


The Colorado Vocational Association (CVA) was formed in 1917 and held its first meeting at Centennial High School, Pueblo, CO in October of that year, where attendance was about 35 people.  Organizers were:  

  • Mr. Dan Wells, Director of Vocational Education, Pueblo

  • Mr. Erwin Stiffler, Director of Vocational Education, Sterling

  • Mr. Harold Stillman, Director of Vocational Education, Colorado Springs

  • Dean Chester Hadden, Head, Industrial Arts Dept., Greeley State College (now UNC)

  • Professor L.D. Crain, Head, Mechanical Engineering & Mechanic Arts Dept., State A & M College, Fort Collins (now CSU)

  • Mr. Newton Van Dalsen, Colorado’s first State Supervisor of Vocational Education, Ft Collins


Dues were $1.00 annually and 29 teachers became members at that first meeting.  A constitution was adopted making membership open to Industrial Arts & Trade/Industrial Teachers with a provision that Commercial, Agriculture and Home Economics teachers might be accepted to membership.  The group petitioned the Colorado Education Association to be a section, which was granted conditionally, as Home Economics and Commercial teachers already had sections.


In December 1925, the National Society for Vocational Education and the Vocational Education Association of the Mid-West met in Cleveland, OH and agreed to merge into one association.  The American Vocational Association was launched in 1926 with seven standing committees:  Agriculture, Commercial, Home Economics, Industrial, Part-Time, Rehabilitation and Vocational Guidance.   Denver extended an invitation to AVA for the Convention in 1926, but Louisville, Kentucky was chosen as host city.  Colorado had three national members at the end of 1926.

American Vocational Association News Bulletin,  Volume 1, Issue 1 - published February 1926

Slide Show from CVA/CACTE 85th anniversary celebration in 2002

The Smith-Hughes Act, creating vocational education (now Career & Technical Education), was signed into law February 23, 1917.  It provided federal aid to the states for the purpose of promoting precollegiate vocational education in agricultural and industrial trades and in home economics (now Family & Consumer Sciences).

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