Dwight Johnson cropped

Dwight Johnson

Dwight Johnson, head of the Idaho Career & Technical Education Division, announced today that he’ll retire this fall once a successor is named; he’s headed the division since 2014, and previously was a long-time division administrator at the Idaho Department of Labor. Johnson also served as interim executive director of the Idaho State Board of Education in 2006-07.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my five years at ICTE and I think we’ve raised the division’s visibility and created a talent pipeline for businesses to grow and expand in our state,” Johnson, 61, said in a statement. “I feel like we’ve made a difference and that is very gratifying for me personally.”

Debbie Critchfield, president of the state board, praised Johnson’s work at the division. “He worked tirelessly to raise the profile of CTE and helped set the stage for further growth in career technical educational opportunities, which are so vital for Idaho’s economic future,” she said, adding, “I wish him the very best.”

The state board plans to conduct a national search for a new ICTE administrator.

The CTE division has more than 580 employees and a state general fund budget of nearly $70 million a year; just 27 of those employees work under Johnson in the division's administrative office, with the rest out at schools or other state institutions.

The division administers career and technical education programs at the state’s high schools and colleges, along with workforce training centers, adult education, and GED programs; it also administers some programs funded by federal grants. This year, the Legislature approved a $319,600 addition to the division to expand nuclear energy and advanced reactor manufacturing studies in Eastern Idaho. Lawmakers in recent years have focused on CTE as a way to provide higher education, and a route to better jobs, to students who won’t go on to earn full four-year college degrees. You can read my full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Friday's Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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