GTC president testifies before Congressional Ed Committee
November 22, 2013
From kenoshanews.com: “Albrecht testifies before education committee in Washington” — A Congressional hearing on technical education included testimony from Gateway Technical College’s president.
Bryan Albrecht joined three other speakers at the session, hosted by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The hearing was titled “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: Improving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”
The hearing was part of Congressional discussions on renewing the act and its school funding to help with technical and career education.
The committee wanted to explore ways to improve the education programs given that students ages 16 to 19 have a 22 percent unemployment rate nationwide.
Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges and 423 secondary school districts had to split the roughly $20 million in Perkins funds given to the state for fiscal year 2013, Albrecht told the committee.
He said Gateway has used the funds to speed up help for dislocated workers and employees seeking new skills.
Businesses and schools also must work together to improve career and technical education in and after high school, he added. Gateway has joined with Snap-on Inc. and Trane to develop curriculum, training and industry certifications matching those companies’ skill needs, Albrecht said.
He also mentioned Gateway and SC Johnson have developed curriculum based on industry standards as the basis for the college’s boot camp manufacturing program. The boot camp, started at Gateway in fall 2006, is an accelerated program teaching skills in various fields.
He said Perkins money has been used so Gateway instructors could teach their curriculum in advanced engineering, manufacturing and information technology to LakeView Advanced Technology Academy juniors at that academy in the Kenosha Unified School District. Those students can earn between 18 and 40 college credits, giving them a post-secondary head start.
The college also has credit transfer agreements with the 14 high schools in Gateway’s jurisdiction, he added.
Albrecht said there’s been a decline in manufacturing jobs in southeastern Wisconsin, leading parents to encourage their children to study other fields.
A program called “Dream It. Do It.” attempts to explain modern manufacturing jobs to youngsters, he said.
“Numerical control is not standing in front of a lathe all day,” he said. “We have to use new ways of thinking about manufacturing.”