It was a pleasure to be able to participate in Vanguard-Sentinel’s 50th anniversary on August 16th. I congratulate the staff, teachers, administration and key community members and students that make this education model successful. Career technical education is essential today. Education has to be a collaborative process. VSCTC has partnerships with 15 local high schools and has good relationships with Terra State Community College, Tiffin University and Heidelberg University.
With these partners and recently enacted legislation, our students should be better fostered and guided to find their special purpose and to be trained for the workforce in our “New Knowledge” economy that exists today and into the future. This collaborative model allows us to really define, for each student, their purpose, potential career pathway, and to provide them with credentials for a stackable post-secondary degree or certificate.
Within the 88th House District and northwest Ohio, we need a prepared and trained workforce. As a community, we want to prevent the brain drain and get a return on our investments by keeping our kids here. Our current system of high school graduates with high remediation rates and high drug use does not work for them or our communities. By encouraging programs that teach critical thinking, we prepare our kids for the future jobs that are not yet defined because of quick and extreme technological advances.
Former Governor Jim Rhodes, who established career tech centers in 1968, wrote, “Many of today’s social and economic ills result from a lack of employment among the able-bodied. The lack of employment stems directly from inadequate education and training.” Governor Rhodes asserted that vocational-training programs for young men and women could help meet the demands of a changing modern-day economy.
Former President Rutherford B. Hayes, whose presidential library is in Fremont, believed that along with and as a part of public education, there should be a system of industrial training—dignifying labor, teaching self-reliance and making it comparatively easy to make an honest living, if you were willing to work for it. President Hayes would be ever so happy with Vanguard-Sentinel’s success and that of career-tech here in Ohio.
To keep our middle class, and just as importantly, to keep Ohio vibrant and competitive, we should encourage our schools to listen to the specific needs of our workforce and should insist that our schools, like VSCTC, provide course work to keep our students and workforce opportunities here. It is amazing that a concept that is 50 years old is actually the very concept needed today to drive our future.
Let’s demand that our students get a purposeful and useful education with stackable certificates, apprenticeships, and degrees. Programs which will provide success through in-program internships and jobs, which will culminate, upon graduation, in immediate job placement and a career. Incredibly, many of these workforce opportunities come with little or no college debt.
Let’s understand that this “New Knowledge” economy supported by these collaborative educational training models can only be achieved by erasing the stigma that career tech is not a worthy pathway in life.
Congratulations to Superintendent Greg Edinger and his team and all of the collaborative school partners on this commemorative event.