Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brenda Dann-Messier at SKILLS USA

Technical Education Magazine

Brenda Dann-Messier was a featured speaker at the 48th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. At each yearly conference, SkillsUSA holds national championship competitions. This year over 5,600 public high school and college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in career and technical education programs—each of whom is a state-level gold medalist in a given skill or leadership area—competed in 94 skills and leadership contests. Over 900 medals and 300 recognition awards were presented to the contestants. More than 20 companies participated in the SkillsUSA career fair, with the in-kind industry and education contributions totaling more than $35 million. The volunteer hours contributed by technical committee members, the courtesy corps, and national education team, judges, and alumni totaled more than 58,000.
Commenting on the experience, Dann-Messier said, “I was truly humbled and inspired by the … students who competed in 94 skills competitions …. Equally amazing was the enormous outpouring of support—through voluntarism, cash contributions, state-of-the-art equipment, etc.—from hundreds of teachers, national advisers, and business and industry leaders across this nation. I walked away filled with hope for our nation’s future workforce and prosperity.” Dann-Messier also spoke at the Youth Development Foundation Awards
and Recognition Luncheon, before the SkillsUSA corporate meeting, and before the SkillsUSA joint delegate special session. At these sessions, she discussed President Obama’s agenda for improving American education and ensuring that all students graduate high school college- and career-ready. She emphasized that the president has asked “[e]very American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”
Dann-Messier also addressed the principal components of Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, the administration’s proposal for the re-authorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). This blueprint is designed to help implement President Obama’s strategy for building “an economy that is built to last.” Transforming CTE is essential if America is to retain its preeminence as the world’s economic superpower. A transformed CTE will provide students with the academic and technical knowledge and work-related skills necessary to be successful in post-secondary education and employment.
A CTE capable of meeting the prerequisites of the 21st-century economy must be anchored in four core principles: alignment, collaboration, accountability, and innovation. Dann-Messier’s remarks emphasized the importance of each of these core principles.

No comments:

Post a Comment