Executive Director’s Letter – Spring 2016

Submitted by Pam Ferguson

Dear ACTEAZ Members,

This year it was all about CTE!!! From every part of our state Career Technical Education was the passionate conversation of the year regarding the profound outcomes that CTE Programs have on graduation, workforce development and life skills training so that students always have a lifetime of prosperity? Industry was adamant that these programs continue to provide the trained workers for the Arizona economy. Comments have been made by many that even though the stress of the year with the potential loss of funding, it may have been a gift in disguise. The united front of the statewide support for Career Technical Education has never been stronger, more knowledgeable and more committed to the continuation of CTE and the foundation to our economy. The powerful relationships and conversation has made the foundation reinforced.

Once the CTE conversation started and people understood what the loss of the JTED Funding would mean to our state, Career Technical Education was immerged into everyone’s discussion including Legislators, State-wide JTED’s (Joint Technical Education Districts), School Boards, Business/Industry Partners, statewide Chambers of Commerce, Education Partners, Professional Organizations, Community Members and ACTEAZ Members. Support was unwavering and following a bipartisan – unanimous – vote in both chambers Governor Doug Ducey signed into law on Wednesday, February 17th, a bill that immediately repealed most of the $30 million funding cuts and created oversight measures. The final legislation restores $29 million of the original $30 million cut that was scheduled to take place next school year. .The passage of this Legislation united so many that is worth so much to all Arizonians.

We still have so much to do to continue the conversation. The I AM CTE Campaign and I AM CTE 2.0 continues to showcase truly all the components of Career Technical Education and we are demonstrating that CTE encompasses so many areas and we will continue to forge ahead with our partners. Believe me, there are so many to thank but in the end the common message was “I AM CTE” now and forever !

Building on that theme, I am CTE 2.0, our Arizona CTE Summer Conference will be July 16th to the 20th at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and the Westin La Paloma, registration is now open. Looking forward to seeing you all there and continuing the conversation. Still much to do but with the tremendous synergy of expertise and commitment our continued work will be fascinating and productive for our state and our students.

Pam Ferguson
ACTEAZ Executive Director