Erie 2 BOCES Educators Advocate on Capitol Hill for Career and Technical Education Support

Meet with lawmakers to enlighten validity of CTE programs.

Angola, NY, May 07, 2015 --( Recently, Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Principal Brandon Wojcik and Director of Career and Technical Education Jaime Venning, joined nearly 400 career and technical education (CTE) professionals at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) National Policy Seminar held in Arlington, VA. During this critical advocacy event, Wojcik and Venning attended briefing sessions on the latest news in education policy and met with policymakers on Capitol Hill to educate them about the value CTE.

Over the course of the seminar, Venning and Wojcik consulted with Veronica Duron from Senator Charles Schumer’s office, Ashley Kelly from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s camp, and Representative Chris Collins. During these meetings, they advocated an increase in support for CTE and other education and workforce development programs.

In one of the event’s highlights, ACTE presented Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) with its Policymaker of the Year Award for 2014. Kaine, the co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus and a consistent leader on education policy, addressed the audience of education professionals to accept the award and thank them for their service to America’s students. Attendees also heard remarks from a panel of congressional staff that provided their insiders’ perspective on what to expect in the coming weeks as Congress considers several landmark education policy issues, including reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In another session, attendees heard from Carl Hulse, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, and the so-called “Mayor of Capitol Hill.” He shared his insights into the complex political landscape of the House and Senate and his forecast for Congress’ next big moves. ACTE members used this information to inform their meetings with lawmakers as they pushed for support for CTE policy priorities on both sides of the aisle.

CTE delivers real-world training and skills development to more than 94 percent of America’s secondary school students. Now, more than ever, the nation must build an investment in CTE to prepare our nation’s workforce for 21st century careers. With CTE programs expanding and changing across the country to meet the needs of employers, students, and communities, teachers and administrators are challenged to effectively advocate for resources and support on the local, state and federal levels.

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Erie 2 Chatauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
Joshua Gregory