Intriguing Conversations - Forward Look: Future of Career and Technical Education

8:00AM - 9:15AM
FREE admission

Join us for coffee, breakfast goodies and intriguing conversation about how the rapidly changing demands of the modern workforce are creating problems for employers and graduating students.
Studies predict a need for a more educated talent pool to fill the demands of the future workforce across all industries. Our own West Michigan manufacturing industry is struggling with a shortage of skilled workers as a result of baby boomers leaving the workforce and a decline in career and technical education course offerings at local schools.
In addition, the cost of post-secondary education continues to rise along with student loan debt. Taken together, all of these factors point to the urgent need for a solution to these crucial issues
Alison Freas, Program Manager for the Herman Miller Academy, and Shayna Carlson, of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, take a closer look at these gaps and how the needs of the future workforce can best be solved when businesses and schools work together to provide new educational opportunities for students.
What’s needed now: career and technical education that combines experiential learning, exposure to jobs, and a jump start on the post-secondary educational requirements.  Freas and Carlson discuss the intriguing programs already underway in West Michigan and talk about what more needs to happen to make sure students can meet employers’ needs.
Freas is a member of the Herman Miller Inclusiveness & Diversity team, working as a Program Manager for the Herman Miller Academy, a career exploration program for high school students in the West Michigan area.  Carlson is CTE Work-Based Learning Supervisor at Ottawa Area Careerline Tech Center. She creates and grows partnerships between the tech center and area businesses so students can gain experience and businesses have a constant pipeline of young talent. 

Sponsored by: Bill Underdown/ Century 21 Affilated