Leaders discuss the future of career and technical education
June 29, 2017
More than 70
regional, state and national leaders in education and workforce development
grappled with questions about how to prepare for careers of the future in a conference
held June 19-20 at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
How can the U.S. and
world economies keep pace with technology? How will workforce voids be filled as
Baby Boom generation workers retire? Are employers prepared for the many more
minorities expected in the workplace in the coming years?
The second annual
Career and Technical Education Summit was hosted by UW-Stout, which offers
undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs in the field.
best intentions and loftiest visions, our nation continues to struggle with a
deep misalignment between what the workforce needs and how young people are
prepared for careers,” said speaker Kyle Hartung, the Pathways to Prosperity program
director for Jobs for the Future.
Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit that develops
programs and public policies to increase college readiness and develop a more
highly skilled workforce.
Hartung said the challenge facing the U.S. is not
necessarily preparing students for specific jobs but providing them with skills
that they can use as careers change with the times, what he called the “future
UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer said that the amount of
information in society is doubling about every two years, but in the near
future it’s expected to double every 12 hours.
The rapid pace of change improves our quality of life and
opens new employment opportunities but also challenges institutions to prepare
students for the growing spectrum of career opportunities, Meyer said.
For example, a medical X-ray technician today has training
options in PET, MRI and ultrasound scanning, Meyer said.
Summit presenters included:
- Bryan Albrecht, president
of Gateway Technical College
- Morna Foy, president,
Wisconsin Technical Colleges
- David Hay, special assistant
to the chancellor, New York City Department of Education
- Jay Rojewski, professor, career
and technical education, University of Georgia
- Sharon Wendt, director, career
and technical education, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Jim Morgan, director of New Ventures, said 10,000 people are
turning 65 every day. Over the next two decades Wisconsin will go from 750,000
people 65 and older to more than 1.5 million. A concern exists that not enough
young people are entering the job market. More than 1 million youth drop out of
high school each year.
Internationally, Manpower Group found that 40 percent of
global employers reported talent shortages in 2016.
Lori Suddick, vice president of learning, Northeast
Wisconsin Technical College, noted that by 2020 minorities will comprise the
majority of all people under age 18. She shared student success initiatives at
NWTC that focus on minority students.
Summit participants also learned about successful CTE
initiatives that focus on student engagement, work-based learning and
Chris Neff, supervisor of career and technical education at
Racine Unified School District, discussed career academies. “Partnerships
between education and employers are vital to the success of the academies of
Racine,” he said.
Badger High School Principal Russ Tronsen explained how multiple
best practices in career and technical education were used to create a school culinary
program, which won state and national awards. The program is based on
curriculum developed with the National Restaurant Association Education
Foundation as well as the concept of school-based enterprises.
The summit expanded on the first event in 2016, also at
UW-Stout, which sought input from regional educators and business leaders on
how the university could enhance its role as a leader in career and technical
engineering students work on a robotics project last spring.
discuss a topic at the Career and Technical Education Summit held at UW-Stout.