Pathways to Prosperity Conference



purpose of this conference is to convene the field so to speak of policymakers and senior business people and educators who are interested in making sure that students who are not likely to go the four-year college degree track also have viable options we have millions of young people who are basically lost now they're unemployed they don't know how to find work they don't know how to become qualified for work only about a third of young people the United States complete four-year college degrees it's been quite appropriate that we've had an increased emphasis on college the college for all movement over the last decade or two but we need to balance that out now with the idea that we need college and career ready one of the presenters this morning pointed out that the skills necessary to read a manual our higher level reading skills then are necessary to do regular college work and so even if we are trying to train people who we think are going to be blue collar workers blue collar workers are fixing your car they're fixing your computer they're doing lots of things that require ongoing learning and some pretty sophisticated reading skills everybody's got to be well-prepared and that's the idea that we're trying to promulgate here we're trying to be sure that we organize ourselves to make it really happen and hearing the industry's talk about the competition and the global conversation really helped me frame that message with my students and with the community about how and why we have to prepare all students in order for them to be Ron Ferguson's opening poem is very touching because I think we all are brought into the room to realize we've got to think about all students not just people like ourselves we're hoping people take back both the energy that comes with realizing that you're part of something that's much bigger than yourself and the will to go back and really spread the message and spread the energy of the movement but more than that really fine-tuned ideas that they can go back home and implement I'm greatly concerned that this is not a new discussion and I'm hoping this conference more than any because of where it starts from the premise behind it can put career tech education back in the vernacular of all people as we talk about what's happening to education today there's no question there's challenges but career tech education has been left at emotional discussion certainly it's there's no civil bulletin in it into these processes but as we put the conversation in the pieces together we can't see some some of our pathways that we can take the core idea of the conference is that the future of the nation really does fundamentally hang on whether we get this work done it really matters that we that we do this we're not this is not play that's people's lives are at stake you

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