Magazine article Techniques

Advocacy Strategies

Magazine article Techniques

Advocacy Strategies

Article excerpt

This November, CTE professionals from all over the country will assemble in the beautiful state of Georgia for CareerTech VISION 2012. With the total redesign of this event, this opportunity will no doubt prove to be one of the greatest professional development opportunities ever offered by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). As part of the planning team that began work in January 2012, I was asked to make a presentation on the importance of advocacy. It will be an up-close and unique presentation featuring three points of view which help to carry the message of CTE (in Georgia we refer to it as CTAE: Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) to our great state and abroad. This article is a snapshot of what we will present at VISION 2012.

CTAE Every Day

By Matthew Gambill

Georgia ACTE (GACTE) is the second largest state in membership within ACTE. With approximately 2,700 members, GACTE works diligently throughout the year to promote and advocate on behalf of CTAE. In the role of executive director, I am constantly networking and strategizing on ways to gain attention for our mission. My efforts have resulted in several strategic relationships. In 2007, GACTE joined the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Through this relationship, I have attended numerous Chamber meetings and have made significant gains in connecting with business and industry leaders who are as equally passionate about the advancement of CTAE as I am. This relationship has also led to the Chamber adding more education and workforce development language to its annual legislative agenda as well as its strategic plan. The Chamber is now focusing more on the importance of CTAE rather than on some of the other education-related issues they previously championed. The Chamber has also aided in our efforts to advocate for funding at the state capitol, and we have been successful with their support and validation. It is critical that we partner with other groups that can help carry our message and bring another point of view to the CTAE mission.

Each July, GACTE hosts its annual summer conference. The theme this year was "Education & Economic Development Summit." During the summit, more than 2,400 CTE professionals heard speeches and challenges from William Symonds, author of Pathways to Prosperity; State School Superintendent John Barge; Microsoft executive Anthony Salcito on the new IT Academy; and the Carl Vinson Institute on the development of career pathways. Attendees also heard from Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Georgia Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Clark, Commissioner Ron Jackson of the Technical College System of Georgia, Tricia Pridemore from the Governor's Office of Workforce Development, Georgia State Senator John Wilkinson, and Jerry Warshaw, chairman of the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation. The summit is a vital forum used to connect policymakers and attendees, thus allowing them to hear from each other. The summit also provides us with an opportunity to present policymaker of the year awards to recognize and honor our supporters.

In August of each year, the GACTE Board begins the task of adopting its legislative priorities for the upcoming year. This process starts with an assessment of current issues impacting CTAE at the local, state and federal levels. We also consider issues that occurred during the prior legislative session. The final adoption of our legislative priorities by the Board occurs in October after feedback has been vetted through the GACTE Legislative Committee. These priorities are then communicated to legislators before and during the legislative session as a resource to ensure that they are informed of our priorities and needs.

The Georgia General Assembly meets from January through around April of each year. During the legislative session, I am at the state capitol on a daily basis to attend all committee meetings affecting education and appropriations. …

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