Crawford County Career and Technical Center: Recruitment and Retention of Career and Technical Education Teachers

Posted on Categories Engagement, Recruitment and Retention

At a Glance

Developing effective strategies to recruit and retain teachers is crucial for the sustained success of any educational institution, particularly in specialized fields such as Career and Technical Education (CTE). Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the academic and professional trajectories of students, and their expertise directly impacts the quality of education provided. However, recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, especially in areas like CTE where industry demand competes with teaching positions, can pose significant challenges. The leadership team at Crawford County Technical Center (Crawford Tech) have developed recruitment and retention strategies that are yielding positive results. These key strategies are: culture, team member appreciation, mentorship & induction, and excellent benefits.


In April of 2024, a webinar focusing on best practices in recruiting and retaining career and technical education teachers was offered by the Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE) and facilitated by YouScience. Kevin Sprong, Director of Crawford Tech, shared the key strategies that are supporting the recruitment and retention of career and technology teachers.

Culture: Family Atmosphere – Pride – Teamwork

At Crawford Tech, a culture that embodies a family atmosphere, pride, and teamwork is prioritized. A positive and supportive environment is essential for both instructors and students to thrive. Staff members work collaboratively, sharing insights and resources to enhance the educational experience. This cooperative spirit fosters a sense of belonging and mutual respect, which is instrumental in retaining dedicated and passionate instructors. The foundation of the culture begins even before an instructor is hired. Prior to the interview process, the director contacts potential candidates and provides a thorough explanation of not only the atmosphere at Crawford Tech, but also the state requirements for becoming a certified career and technical instructor. This ensures that the candidates have a realistic understanding of the educational and professional development investment required of them before they consider interviewing for a position. 

Family Atmosphere
Crawford Tech promotes a welcoming environment where instructors feel valued and supported. An open-door policy encourages candid communication between staff and administration, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard and respected. This approach helps build strong interpersonal relationships and a sense of community among the staff.

There is immense pride in the work and contributions to the community at Crawford Tech. Instructors are encouraged to take ownership of their programs and celebrate their achievements, fostering a sense of pride in their professional roles and in the success of their students.

Collaboration is at the heart of the teaching philosophy at Crawford Tech. Instructors frequently engage in team teaching, interdisciplinary projects, and professional learning communities. This teamwork not only enhances instructional quality but also creates a supportive network for professional growth and problem-solving.

Team Member Appreciation: Celebrating Successes 

Celebrating the successes of team members is a cornerstone of the retention strategy at Crawford Tech. Recognizing and appreciating the hard work and achievements of instructors boosts morale and reinforces a positive work environment.

Annual Awards and Recognition
Each year, Crawford Tech hosts an awards ceremony to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of instructors. Awards include Teacher of the Year, Innovation in Teaching, and Community Impact, among others. These accolades celebrate the dedication and excellence of the staff.

Monthly Highlights
In monthly newsletters and staff meetings, the accomplishments of individual instructors and teams are highlighted. Whether it’s a successful student project, a grant award, or a professional development milestone, these highlights keep the staff motivated and engaged.

Social Events
Regular social events, such as holiday parties, picnics, wedding and baby celebrations, and team-building activities, provide opportunities for staff to connect on a personal level, further strengthening the community spirit. The most recent event included celebrating the retirements of five staff members who had collectively committed 114 years of service to Crawford Tech! 

Mentorship & Induction: Cultivating a Supportive Environment  

Mentorship is a key component of the strategy at Crawford Tech to support new instructors and ensure their successful integration into the teaching community.

Mentor Selection
Experienced and highly-skilled instructors are carefully selected to serve as mentors. These mentors are chosen based on their teaching excellence, leadership qualities, and willingness to support their colleagues.

Induction Program
The comprehensive induction program includes regular meetings, non-evaluative classroom observations, and one-on-one coaching sessions. New instructors receive guidance on curriculum development, classroom management, and student engagement techniques, ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed. 

On-Site IUP Mentor
In partnership with Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), an on-site mentor provides additional support and professional development. This collaboration allows instructors to access cutting-edge educational resources and methodologies, further enhancing their teaching practice.

Excellent Benefits: Prioritizing Team Member Wellness 

Crawford Tech offers a competitive benefits package designed to attract and retain top talent. Comprehensive benefits are crucial for the well-being of the staff and their families.

Health and Wellness
The benefits package includes comprehensive health insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, and access to wellness programs. The health and well-being of the staff are prioritized, offering resources and support to help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. Recognizing the challenge instructors and staff face to prioritize their health among other responsibilities, Crawford Tech has even recently added an on-site wellness center for staff to utilize before and after school or during their lunch. 

Retirement Plans
Robust retirement plans, including employer contributions and personalized financial planning services, are offered. These plans provide staff with the security and peace of mind to plan for their futures.

Professional Development
Continuous learning and growth are encouraged through professional development programs. Funding for workshops, conferences, and advanced degree programs is provided, empowering instructors to stay at the forefront of their fields.

Work-Life Balance
Flexible scheduling options and generous paid time off ensure that instructors can balance their professional and personal lives effectively. A healthy work-life balance is essential for long-term job satisfaction and productivity.


The recruitment and retention strategies at Crawford County Career and Technology Center are designed to create a supportive and engaging environment for instructors. By fostering a culture of family atmosphere, pride, and teamwork, celebrating successes, providing strong mentorship, and offering excellent benefits, Crawford Tech ensures that instructors feel valued and motivated to excel in their careers. This holistic approach not only attracts top talent but also retains dedicated professionals who are committed to providing the highest quality education to students.



Kevin Sprong, Director