National Policy Seminar: A First Timer’s Perspective

I attended the National Policy Seminar for the first time last week. I had the normal angst over meeting with Congressman and questions like “What will I say?” “Will I say the right things?” “Will I make any difference?” popped into my mind. So with packets in hand and my best 5 minute overview in my head, I headed to the Hill. And I am here to say, that it was a rewarding and invigorating experience. Our team from Virginia divided our 13 visits, with my team taking four in the Canon Building. We met with staffers for three and Congressman Hurt. 

Each visit was unique and perhaps this is a regular occasion for these staffers, but for me, it was a chance to highlight Career and Technical Education; the CTE I know personally. It was our chance to give a first-hand account of how federal legislation directly affects our students. We spoke about opportunities for success, portable skills students get through dual enrollment and industry credentials, and how students gain valuable leadership skills by participating in CTE programs. I left Capitol Hill feeling like I made a difference. Of course, I have no real idea if what we said and shared will get to the Congressman, but we are hopeful. Hopeful like many of our colleagues in Career and Technical Education, that they will understand, like we do, how powerful of an impact CTE has on our students.

So, next year: attend, participate and do your part to share the success of CTE with our legislators.