Governor's office looks at Whittier as model to inspire more vo-tech education in state
“It’s hard to think of what to say to people who are already knocking it out of the park,” said Jennifer James, Massachusetts Undersecretary to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. She was at the podium as guest speaker at our annual Advisory Board Dinner last Thursday.
Because of the success of vocational schools at placing students in manufacturing, health and other careers where employers desperately need skilled workers, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Banker wants to move more high schools in the state to curriculums that focus on both academics and skills development, she said.
“We are watching the quiet revolution of what’s happening at the vo-tech school level and wanting to move all schools in this direction,” she said. “The governor is looking to build more partnerships with vo-tech schools and colleges and incentivize more schools to build those high-quality career pathways.”
“We are so impressed with the work you do here everyday,” she said. “You are leaders in the charge of changing our educational system.”
More than 300 leaders in area business and industry who volunteer on Whittier’s Program Advisory Board enjoyed the evening hosted by Culinary Arts students in the cafeteria. Advisory Board members work closely with Whittier’s vocational-technical instructors throughout the year to ensure students are being prepared for today’s workforce standards and industry trends. Several of the business owners employ Whittier students in co-op jobs and offer full-time employment for graduates.
They enjoyed a buffet dinner and received raffle prizes, including Adirondack chairs and a picnic table crafted by carpentry students. SkillsUSA medalists were recognized, along with their innovative projects that earned 26 medals at the state competition two weeks ago.