WASHINGTON, D.C. — The success of the HVAC program at the Upper Valley Career Center has not gone unnoticed; it has, in fact, been recognized nationally.
Scott Naill, HVAC instructor at the UVCC, was invited to the White House on Tuesday among other leaders in Career Technical Education (CTE) to discuss with policy makers and business and industry leaders about the importance of CTE in secondary education. The event was called Celebrating Innovations in Career and Technical Education.
The event was organized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Career, Technical, and Adult Education in partnership with Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.
First Lady Michelle Obama was arm’s length away from Naill when she addressed her keynote.
“CTE programs like these are good for students, because they can learn new skills and find their passion, they’re good for businesses because they can tap into a pipeline of skilled talent, and they’re good for our country because these programs help us grow our economy, compete with other countries, and unleash the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” Obama said during her keynote.
It is being proven more that a high school diploma is not enough to succeed and help nurture the economy.
“They need some kind of skill set to be successful in the world today … our economy has changed,” Naill said. “Jobs are out there, but trying to get those students connected to those jobs requires credentials.”
Naill said there are 40 active members on the advisory committee for the UVCC HVAC program, most of whom are business owners investing time and money to help grow the program. As a result of investing in the program, they are rewarded with skilled employees for their business.
“Upper Valley (Career Center) is very progressive in what the industry needs,” Naill said. “They (business owners) are serious about what CTE is doing to help our students out.”
Naill shared his thoughts on his visit at the White House.
“It was a surreal event at Washington, D.C.,” he said. “You have an excitement, but then you just feel honored to be a part of the group to have an influence on policy makers. I can help shape what it (education) will look like five to 15 years from now.”