I had the opportunity to attend career-technical education's annual Ohio legislative seminar this week. An important part of the annual event was meeting with two of our district's House Representatives and our Senator. I was accompanied by Adult Education Director Pete Prichard and high school Director Bob Vennekotter. We appreciated the frank discussion of the state's budget challenges with legislators Jim Buchy,Lynn Wachtmann, and Cliff Hite. Mr. Hite will be sworn in as a state Senator next week, replacing Steve Buehrer, who will now lead the Workers Compensation Board for Governor Kasich.
I came away from the legislative meetings refreshed that other people realize the fact that career technical education is vital to helping pull the nation out of the Great Recession. Vantage trains students of all ages for JOBS--while I have always been proud of our ability to prepare people for jobs, much emphasis in the past 16 years has been on training students for careers and college. That is still a worthy goal, but first and foremost, good skilled training will land a student a job in an industry or service occupation. The wage they earn helps build state revenue, as they buy goods and services to provide for their daily needs. While the nation doesn't have a surplus of jobs at present, several jobs still exist in skilled trades which are not seeing qualified job applicants clamoring to fill the positions of retiring workers. The skilled trades are important to our state and national economy. Career-technical education will continue to do our part to prepare people to be employed in these trades.
Don't forget to come out to Vantage on Feb. 7 for the annual Vantage Teachers' Association Student Scholarship Fund Dinner. Check the Vantage website for details!