Today's knowledge-based economy demands continuous learning and innovation. The demand for specialized engineering expertise to run national strategic projects nowadays is more than ever, and the need to introduce engineering education at younger ages seems to be an ever-increasing urge in response to the challenges of the 21st century. Educational systems have to be reshaped in order to reduce the gap between scholastic education and real life experience. Career Technical Education (CTE) may be the right answer. The CTE model teaches the academic rigorous core curriculum, along with hands-on real life technical and professional skills. The Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) has adopted the CTE model in which core academic knowledge is integrated with technical and professional skills in relation to career clusters that are designed and customized to meet local community needs. The Institute's philosophy is quality education founded on a standards-based curriculum, with specific and measurable outcomes.