The future role of vocational-technical education in Alaska was the topic of an open forum at the 21st Century Career & Technical Education Symposium at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward.
With a statewide vocational plan on the horizon, organizers hope the June 3 symposium planted the seed in those who have the resources and energy to make it grow. To facilitate continued discussion toward solutions and a plan, AVTEC is posting the details of the symposium's main topics, participants and photographs on its Web site.
The symposium, coordinated by AVTEC's Statewide Advisory Board, opened with a multi-media tribute to AVTEC in celebration of its 30-year history, narrated by its director, Fred Esposito. Guest speakers included Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer; Rick Cross, commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development; Sen. John Torgerson; Mike Andrews, Alaska Human Resource Investment Council executive director; and Wendy Redman, University of Alaska vice president.
Topics and panel discussions included the importance of training and education to the Alaska economy, the role of the Department of Education and Early Development, the university's role, expectations of Alaska's Career and Technical Education system, and defining the role of the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council.
The symposium drew more than 70 participants. Many toured AVTEC and ate at a buffet luncheon prepared by AVTEC culinary arts students. Keynote speaker Bill Strickland described the innovative Manchester Craftsman Guild in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Student officers gave information about high school leadership organizations from around the state.
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