ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers was invited to participate in the fourth U.S.-China State and Provincial Education Leaders Dialogue: Technical and Vocational Education and Training, held in Washington D.C. October 30-31. The invitation was extended as a result of AWFS education director Adria Salvatore’s current role as chair of the ACTE Business & Industry Advisory Group.
 
Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, presented a welcome message to the group, highlighting the necessary “soft skills” and values that students can gain though CTE and the importance of education to the economy.

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education assistant secretary, Scott Stump, also participated in the event and emphasized the importance of industry-education partnerships, apprenticeships, and the Perkins legislation for CTE funding. Attendees at the meeting included officials from the U.S. Department of Education and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, U.S. State and Chinese Provincial Education Chiefs, career and technical education directors and providers, and CTE-focused industry representatives.
 
The summit consisted of constructive dialogue and information sharing from both countries, alternating presenters from the U.S. and China.

“We learned about the structure of Technical and Vocational Education and Training and the role of industry and the federal, state and local government in the process in China,” said Salvatore. “There were identifiable similarities and differences between the approaches of the two countries.

“However, the U.S. and China are able to learn from one another and there was valuable information shared that will help us all strengthen Career Technical Education.”

Both countries agreed that there should be multiple pathways and options for students, ways for students to apply their learning, and industry participation for well-rounded learning opportunities.
 
In addition to hearing from various subject matter experts, attendees visited local DC area post-secondary schools with exemplary CTE programs. At Northern Virginia Community College, attendees learned about the innovative new apprenticeship program with Amazon Web Services.

At Montgomery College, attendees heard from students, alumni, and educators in their well-established and successful automotive, HVAC, and apartment maintenance programs. See http://awfs.org.

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