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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Reflections on President Obama’s Visit to Lake Area Technical Institute in South Dakota

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Over the weekend, President Obama became the fourth president in U.S. history to visit all 50 states during his tenure. Obama’s visited South Dakota to deliver the commencement speech at Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, a huge confirmation of the President’s commitment to the community college system, and an affirmation of the value of Career Technical Education (CTE).

There, the President gave his congratulations to LATI graduates, as well as spoke about his initiative, America’s College Promise, which would make two years of community college free for students. Obama also praised Lake Area Technical Institute when he said, “Community colleges like this one can be a great place for young people to launch a career. But they’re also a great place for folks who have been in the workforce for a while.”

Michael Cartney, President of LATI, cites a variety of reasons that the school was a focus of the President’s visit. LATI boasts a graduation rate of 75 percent and an incredible 98 percent placement rate. “We feel honored and humbled that our President chose to come here to do the commencement address. The tribute he paid to our graduates and staff is huge, just momentous. [It’s the ] biggest gift he could have given our staff and students,” said Cartney. “This is a gift not only to Lake Area Technical Institute, but to all CTE. This is an acknowledgement that CTE is important and that there is a strong future for what CTE has to provide.”

Cartney explained that success is not only defined by graduation or placement rates, but also how the school is preparing students for the best careers for them. A strong commitment to career guidance and providing students with the information they need to make informed decisions on their career options has resulted in graduates earning an average yearly salary that eclipses the South Dakota median income within just five years after graduation.

In addition to guidance, the school also focuses on engaging the community and employers and industry. LATI has worked hard with the business community to improve the image of CTE and technical careers. For example, one advertisement highlights what high-tech and high-skill manufacturing jobs look like today, not the old factories students and parents often envision.

What matters most, however, is the school’s culture. “The biggest thing that distinguishes our school is our culture. We genuinely care about our students, and they are engaged and make meaningful connections here,” something that has shown to be a high indicator of success in studies conducted by Gallup, among others. “Our heritage goes back to caring about our students and working with them to be successful.”

So what does CTE look like in the future at LATI? With 11 consecutive years of growth, there is an influx of new students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and partners. Though LATI has reveled in a variety of national accolades including the President’s visit, Cartney explains the responsibility of the school to remain concentrated on their mission, “We are staying focused on our students and that remains our way forward,” said Cartney. “It’s not about being the best, but doing the best for our students.”

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Photo Credit: President Barack Obama addresses the graduates at Lake Area Technical Institute (South Dakota Public Broadcasting)

 

By Katie Fitzgerald in News
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Obama Administration Must Release Details of Sequestration Cuts Within 30 Days

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

President Obama today signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act, which requires the Administration to detail what the $110 billion in sequestration cuts will look like in Fiscal Year 2013. The Administration must issue its report to Congress within 30 days. The bill was a show of bipartisanship in Congress at time when the House and Senate have a hard time agreeing on anything. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent last month and passed the House by a vote of 414-2. Congress is expected to try to negotiate an alternative to sequestration during the lame duck session that will save $1.2 trillion over ten years.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Summer Jobs+, TANF Extended, Race to the Top

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Happy New Year! Congress is currently on recess. The House is scheduled to return on January 17, 2012 and the Senate will return on January 23, 2012.

Summer Jobs+ Aims to Increase Youth Employment

Yesterday President Obama unveiled Summer Jobs+, an initiative that brings together businesses, non-profits, and government to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. The President originally proposed investing in summer youth employment as part of the American Jobs Act which failed to pass Congress. As a result of Congressional inaction, the private sector has already pledged to create 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth this summer. The administration hopes that a total of 250,000 opportunities will be available this summer, at least 100,000 of which will be paid jobs and internships.

“America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It’s important for their future, and for America’s.” said President Obama.

Payroll Tax Cut and TANF Extended for Two Months

Before recess the House and Senate passed a two-month extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The bill also extends Unemployment Insurance and the Medicare doc fix for two months.  The Senate has appointed conferees on the original House-passed payroll tax bill and House Minority Leader Pelosi appointed House Democratic conferees to work out a year-long extension.

Race to the Top Awards Announced

The U.S. Department of Education announced the seven winners of round three of the Race to the Top competition. The winning states – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – will each receive a share the $200 million grant. This round focuses on comprehensive statewide reform, as well as improving STEM education. The seven winning applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in underperforming schools.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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White House Report Shows Fewer Rural Students Attend College

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Despite greater parental and community involvement, students in rural schools have college-going rates that are 10 to 15 percentage points lower than those of urban school students.

Through his recently-launched White House Rural Council, President Barack Obama aims to conquer this issue and other problems faced by rural communities today. The Rural Council released a report this month, Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America, that briefly addresses education and focuses more on job creation and economic growth.

The report shows ways that the Obama administration is working to close gaps between rural schools and other public schools, mostly by increasing access to Pell Grants and making student loans more affordable.

The Rural Council describes educational training, job certification and credential attainment as critical to supporting military families and the 6.1 million veterans who live in rural communities. Additionally, the Rural Council includes “training a globally competitive workforce” as a key area for strengthening rural America. The report references several of the administration’s initiatives that are already in place to meet this goal including: the Education Jobs Fund program, the Rural Education Achievement program and the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants.

Career Technical Education (CTE) helps close the college-going gap between rural and urban schools by providing education and skills training to prepare veterans, displaced workers, career changers, and other individuals for further education and careers in high-demand fields.

By Kara in News, Resources
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