President Spotlights Education Access During Annual State of the Union Address

January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015
CONTACT: Sean Lynch

President Spotlights Education Access During Annual State of the Union Address

ALEXANDRIA, VA -The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) today lauded President Obama’s emphasis on the importance of additional skills for all students during his State of the Union Address.

“To make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills,” Obama said. “America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college and trained the best workforce in the world.  But in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to do more.”

During his address, the president referenced his recently announced America’s College Promise proposal, which could increase opportunity for Americans nationwide to obtain valuable postsecondary CTE credentials in growing fields. He also emphasized the need for strong business-education partnerships, like those established by many CTE programs around the country.

“President Obama’s attention to postsecondary education access and skills training issues in his address provides important recognition of our nation’s duty to equitably prepare every student for college and career success,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “I’m also encouraged by the increased attention that this administration has given CTE as an established mechanism for increasing access to economic opportunity and strengthening the foundation of the American workforce. Hopefully, the president, his Administration and Congress will continue this momentum and recognize the need to build our federal investment in CTE through proven approaches, including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”

Tuesday proved to be a big night for CTE educators as well. ACTE member Lisa Barnett, a CTE coordinator at Botetourt Country public school district, and Katrice Mubiru, a CTE teacher for Los Angeles unified school district, attended the address as special guests of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and First Lady Michele Obama, respectively. The inclusion of CTE professionals as guests at this important event underscores the growing appreciation for CTE in Washington and nationwide, and will help to spread public support for these vital programs.

As the nation’s largest association of education professionals dedicated to preparing students for college and career success, ACTE supports policies that will connect secondary and postsecondary level students with relevant, real-world learning opportunities that prepare them to meet workforce demands in growing career fields.

About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.