Every month, I have the privilege of traveling to Salem or a college campus to meet with the 16 Oregon community colleges and their presidents. These monthly meetings are invaluable because they give institution leaders the opportunity to work collaboratively on key issues facing higher education and the time to share ideas on best practices. These meetings also allow us moments to celebrate, advocate and raise awareness of the great things that are happening at each institution.

Because February is Career and Technical Education Month, I, accompanied by TVCC Board Vice Chair Stephen Crow and Ag Instructor Sandy Porter, made the trek to the western side of the state to participate in the second annual CTE Day. On Feb. 5, TVCC joined other community colleges from around the state at the Capitol Building for a one-day event to highlight college CTE programs which are critical in training the current workforce. Some of the programs highlighted included: Industrial and Engineering Systems, Health Sciences, Emergency and Life, Safety, Human Resources, Information and Communications, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The Capitol was buzzing with energy as CTE Day continued but behind the scenes both the House and Senate began their work on significant budget and policy issues during this year’s short legislative session. I appreciated the hospitality by our local legislators as they squeezed time in their hectic schedules to meet with me and Vice Chair Stephen Crow and to listen once again as we shared what we are doing to support students in their education and ensure pathways from K-12 to post-secondary education and training. It was a great day to be at the Capitol!

Locally, TVCC hosted its CTE Open House on Feb. 6 to more than 370 Oregon and Idaho high school students who came from as close as the Four Rivers Community School to as far as Crane High School. It is always exciting to hear students’ responses as they discover what wonderful internships and career opportunities are available to them. I want to thank all the industry partners who participated in our CTE Open House. We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you to all our faculty and staff as well who make this annual event a valuable resource for students seeking the necessary skills and training to land their dream jobs.

Dana Young is president of Treasure Valley Community College. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of The Argus Observer.

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