Executive Director’s Letter – Fall 2015

Submitted by Pam Ferguson

How High is Your R Factor? (Relationship Factor!)

Dear ACTEAZ Members,

Hopefully your school year so far has been a time filled with success and promise of even greater moments to come for you and your students. At the ACTE Summer Conference we emphasized the power of networking.  I would ask that we all focus on that again.

As we all know, networking is a tool dedicated to enabling us as professionals to achieve our highest potential by fostering a stimulating environment where we can form relationships, build alliances, share knowledge and provide support to one another.  The success Career Technical Education has garnered across the nation as the premier educational system for our students and our economy is due in part to relationships forged through networking by teachers, industry, legislators and community members.

Your “R Factor” with the individuals and organizations within your personal network can greatly impact the message of the importance of CTE and the strength of the VOICE by which that message is shared.  Its important that we all take a moment to regard our network and ask have we done everything we could to build those relationships and make new connections?

  • Have we invited our local and state legislators to visit our programs and see first hand the impact they have on our student’s desire/ability to gain career skills?
  • Have we invited our local industry contacts to visit our programs and share their career and educational experiences to add depth and understanding of the knowledge our students have gained?
  • Have we connected more with parents and community members to visit our schools and see the benefits of our programs and the multiple pathways for further education and career readiness they provide?
  • Have we had our School Board Members visit our programs to see first hand the potential for growth and success that CTE fosters within its students?
  • Have we invited representatives from the local and state Chambers of Commerce to see our programs and learn how we are contributing to our future local workforce and community?
  • Have we shared the success stories of our own programs and those of other programs at our school across social media, school news outlets and websites or other outlets for CTE news, such as, ACTE National, ACTEAZ or IamCTE?

It is questions like these that can drive home the phrase “Well, it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”.  To maintain the success of our programs we need to maintain and expand upon our network of contacts.  We need to continue to build our “R Factor” with those contacts so that they in turn will add their support to our cause and share our message within their own personal network adding to more contacts for us.

It is our students today who will become leaders of this nation and its industries of tomorrow.  To be able to compete, collaborate and succeed in this increasingly global workforce they will need the education, skills and adaptability that Career and Technical Education provides in schools.  It is our programs today that help ensure a better future.

So I ask you to remember your network of contacts, to strengthen your relationships and to make new ones.  Use our resources on the ACTEAZ website to reach out to your  network of contacts.  It is through your help, your effort and your voice that the message and importance of CTE will be heard, accepted and strengthened throughout our communities, our state and our nation.  Share your stories of success and together let’s build our networks into a foundation our students can build the future upon.