Nationally, the labor market is seeking workers to fill the increasing number of high salary job vacancies, but those qualified to fill them are in limited supply. The skills and third-party industry credentials earned in secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs seem a perfect fit for the student, employer, and economy. However, widely held misperceptions of CTE and unfamiliarity with industry credentials perpetuate this skills crisis while undermining high school students' economic potential. Using a non-experimental, quantitative study employing ex post facto data, a Likert survey, and a closed-ended question survey, this study shows CTE industry credentials' economic value in dollar terms for students and for a state's treasury, in this case Virginia's, in potential income tax revenue for the next five years.