Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

AVA's New Partnerships Hold Great Promise

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

AVA's New Partnerships Hold Great Promise

Article excerpt

The 1995 AVA convention in Denver is still fresh in our memory, but the staff here at headquarters is already busy preparing for the 1996 convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. The theme for the 1996 convention is "partnerships for success," and in many ways that theme is quickly becoming a call to action for vocational-technical education.

To underscore why partnerships are so important, I'd like to recount some of the activities undertaken by your Board of Directors and headquarters staff over the last year and to look ahead to our plans for 1996 and beyond.

During 1995, AVA was involved in new partnerships that allow all involved to achieve their desired goals. We will pursue more and more of these activities because they are essential to position vocational-technical education and your association for the future.

Consider the new block grant legislation for workforce education, which will consolidate the Perkins Act, school-to-work, adult education and other federal funding programs. The AVA-led coalition of education organizations was critical to our success in shaping the House and Senate bills to better fulfill our needs. Fifteen groups-from the National Education Association and Council of Chief State School Officers to the National School Boards and Vocational Student Organizations-joined with AVA to develop a set of core principles and positions we all wanted in the legislation. This type of coalition is absolutely essential in today's policy making environmentnot only in Washington, D.C., but in your state and locality.

Another partnership initiative that we have just launched holds enormous promise for the future of the association and vocational- technical education. The AVA School-to-Work Partners is a coalition of business and education leaders focused on the need for quality school-to-work systems and strong vocational-technical education programs in the United States. The purpose of the coalition is to bring the business community together with vocational-technical educators in partnership to achieve a highly skilled workforce. Better preparing people for high-performance work organizations, thus helping the competitive posture of American business in an international economy, is at the core of our mission.

We have enrolled more than a dozen business and government entities in our new coalition already and plan to expand participation to more than 100 by the summer. The need for this coalition between vocational-technical education and business/industry is clear to both partners: There must be a focused and sustained effort by business and education leaders to keep school-to-work on the national, state and local agenda. …

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