Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Embrace Change to Strengthen Voc Ed

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Embrace Change to Strengthen Voc Ed

Article excerpt

In last month's Journal, President Cynthia Lyon paid a fine tribute to retired Executive Director Charlie Buzzell. I hope to build upon the tradition of leadership that has been the hallmark of the American Vocational Association as I perform the duties of Acting Executive Director during this interim period.

During this transition at AVA headquarters, I would like to assure every AVA member that your association is not only continuing on course, but it is growing, maturing and changing to meet new challenges every day. Membership numbers are up, the new Tech Prep section is growing, we are exploring many new member services and benefits, and the association investment in legislative advocacy is paying handsome dividends in increased opportunities for vocational-technical education.

What I hope to convey here is a message of opportunity and growth. Our association is poised to take advantage of myriad opportunities. And as AVA faces changes and opportunities, so does the entire vocational-technical education enterprise.

Change and opportunity are directly evident in the legislation that Congress has passed so far this year--the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. These efforts to restructure and revitalize education represent sweeping change, but it is change that I consider overwhelmingly positive for vocational-technical educators.

The U.S. Education and Labor Departments are championing initiatives to link education more closely to preparation for work. Most governors, state economic development personnel, education departments and, most importantly, business and industry are greeting School-To-Work and Goals 2000 with enthusiasm. Vocational-technical educators and AVA need to embrace this change and take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

School-to-Work is what vocational-technical education is all about. It is why we are in business. Those who embrace the systems-building initiatives that School-to-Work hopes to create may find that their programs are given new focus, new meaning and new resources--in terms of more money, more influence, more respect.

Every AVA member can profit by keeping up with state STW plans being developed. Offer your experience to the planners. Show them co-op, apprenticeship and internship programs they might use as STW models.

Your headquarters staff will keep you informed of all the ramifications of School-to-Work-in articles like those in this issue of the Journal, in AVA's new School-to-Work Guide, in legislative advisories and at special conferences early next year in San Francisco and Philadelphia. …

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