Janet Goble, Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Canyons School District, joined “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe in asking Congress to strengthen public education programs that give students hands-on work experience.

They were among four experts invited to testify Tuesday, Feb. 28 before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education at a hearing that was live-streamed on YouTube.

At the hearing, Mike Rowe, the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and TV host of "Dirty Jobs" and "Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” discussed how CTE programC5xungtXEAA6Lzb.jpgs help prepare students for successful careers and meet the economic needs of communities across the country, according to a press announcement

Goble highlighted some of the educational programs, business partnerships and work-based learning opportunities that are made possible through the Carl D. Perkins Act. Utah’s Canyons School District offers 35 formal programs of study through which students earned nearly 2,000 industry credentials last year, says Goble, who serves as Administration Division Vice President of the national Association for Career and Technical Education. They range from the traditional cosmetology and construction programs to those designed to meet the workforce needs of the booming, high-tech healthcare industry.

The Perkins Act also makes it possible for schools to market science and engineering to young girls, and host Job Shadow activities where students test-drive a career of their choice, Goble says. See below for Goble's full written testimony:

Testimony of Janet Goble
Director of Career and Technical Education
Canyons School District
House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
Providing More Students a Pathway to Success by Strengthening Career and Technical Education
February 28, 2017
Good morning, Chairman Rokita, Ranking Member Polis, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee. My name is Janet Goble and I am the Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah, a comprehensive school district serving approximately 35,000 students. Additionally, I currently serve as the Administration Division Vice President of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), a national organization committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.

I am humbled and honored to be here with you today and want to thank you for your invitation to talk about some of the wonderful opportunities available to students through CTE.
I am deeply passionate about my profession.  My mother taught business education and instilled in me the importance of gaining marketable skills. As the product of CTE, the skills I gained through my education allowed me to realize my career goals, and have helped me to have a positive impact on the lives of my students.

While there are many facets to successful CTE programs, this morning I would like to highlight programs of study, business partnerships and work-based learning opportunities – all of which are extremely beneficial for students and are key tenets of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.  

Programs of Study for Students

In Canyons School District, students have the opportunity to participate in 35 different programs of study—some of which require attendance at our technical center. These pathways start in either 9th or 10th grade and are followed by a succession of related courses that lead into postsecondary education and careers. As a culminating activity, students in comprehensive high schools are able to earn industry certifications as juniors or seniors, including IC3 Internet and Computer Core Certification, ASE Auto Electrical/Electronics and ASE Engine Performance.  With these credentials, students are prepared to be successful in their chosen field. 
For students who choose more concentrated pathways, Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC) offers capstone programs. Not only are students engaging in rigorous coursework, they are also earning industry certifications, including MTA Security Fundamentals or Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash and Premiere) or ASE Diesel Engines.  Additionally, many students leave high school with Utah licenses in Cosmetology, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician. These students are already pursuing their chosen career pathway and are ready to hit the ground running in the workplace.

Last year, students in Canyons School District earned an impressive 1,739 industry credentials. I believe these credentials provide proof to potential employers that students have the skills necessary to be sought after in their field and ready to perform on day one. Additionally, students are able to be gainfully employed in high-paying jobs while pursuing postsecondary education.

Indeed, many of our CTE students also plan to pursue higher education. This year, we are offering 44 CTE dual enrollment courses with our postsecondary partners at Salt Lake Community College, Utah State University-Eastern and Utah Valley University. There are an additional 18 general education concurrent courses as well. These classes give students an advantage because they are earning college credit while enrolled in high school. Students in these courses have the opportunity to experience the rigor of college-level coursework while saving time and money toward earning a college degree.

Through the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, Congress should focus federal resources on building seamless pathways for students—beginning with career awareness and exploration activities early on, and connecting secondary and postsecondary education through CTE programs of study.

Business Partnerships for Seamless School to Work Transitions

Business partnerships are a key component of our program of study efforts and support real-world learning experiences for our students. Through their interactions with industry professionals, students realize their coursework is relevant and, in fact, does translate into meaningful career skills and job opportunities.

As one notable example of a successful partnership, we have worked with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), industry partners and Salt Lake Community College to develop the Utah Diesel Technician Pathway. In direct response to providing a workforce for the diesel industry, we now have a partnership with major diesel companies:  Cummins International, Komatsu Equipment Company, Kenworth Sales, Kilgore Contracting, Utah Transit Authority and C.R. England. This pathway starts with dual enrollment courses in high school, transitions to college courses, and then allows students to enter the workforce with industry-grade skills. The industry partners have donated many hours of their time to job shadow experiences for our students, participating in numerous career fairs and enlightening counselors about this viable career pathway. Additionally, they donated 12 diesel engines and stands valued at approximately $180,000 to our district so students can be trained on the same equipment used in industry. 

In Utah, medical device manufacturing is another a large industry sector in need of a skilled workforce. In partnership with GOED and Salt Lake Community College, as well as industry partners like Edwards Lifesciences, BD Medical, Merit Medical, Nelson Laboratories and Sorenson Genomics among others, we will begin offering the new Medical Innovations Pathway (MIP) to students starting this fall.  Students will take high school courses—whose standards and objectives have been developed in consultation with industry—to gain necessary skills for entry-level employment upon high school graduation. Our district will offer pathways in medical devise manufacturing, while others will focus on biotechnology. For students unable to participate at the secondary level, Salt Lake Community College also provides a MIP pathway for adult learners. 

As a result of these successful partnerships, Governor Gary Herbert recently announced in his State of the State address the new “Talent Ready Utah” initiative.  By continuing to have industry working directly with education to offer work-based learning opportunities for students, his goal is to fill 40,000 high-skill, high-wage jobs over the next four years. We are poised to participate in a new statewide building construction initiative and look forward to a similar partnership in the information technology area.

Last October, in an effort to connect more students with industry, we were an integral part of our region’s “Pathways to Professions” expo event.  Students and teachers were able to interface directly with businesses from the career cluster pathways. In its maiden year, over 8,500 students attended. There were even a few students who were hired on the spot!  We are excited to be involved again this fall and look forward to an even bigger event.

A reauthorized Perkins Act should provide for substantive and ongoing consultation with employers and other local stakeholders, and offer the business community an important role in the development and implementation of CTE programs, including identifying relevant standards, valued credentials and industry-standard equipment.   

Connecting students to industry through Work-Based Learning experiences

The opportunity for career exploration is important for students. In our district, career exploration activities start with elementary school career days. Additional experiences occur in our College and Career Awareness course in middle school. This required core class exposes students to occupations within the career clusters. Then in high school, examples of work-based learning activities include field trips, guest speakers, lunch-and-learn activities and internships. 

High school students also participate in schoolwide career fairs. For this huge undertaking, work-based learning facilitators recruit professionals in their community to represent dozens of possible career fields.  Having the support of over 70 business partners is overwhelming and speaks to the support of industry wanting students to learn about opportunities they may not even know exist. 

We also host an annual job shadow event wherein work-based learning facilitators match student interests with local businesses.  A wide range of careers are represented, including engineers, physicians, diesel technicians, pilots, legislators and graphic designers among others. The sky is the limit! This year, 89 students and 41 companies took part in the event.  Spending the morning at the business gives students a first-hand look at possible future careers. Some students realize the career they shadow is not a good fit—which is a valuable experience and allows time to re-evaluate their career aspiration. And for those students who have found their passion, this experience serves to cement their career decision and also gives them an opportunity to network with industry professionals. Our business partners make a point of talking with the students about how to enter the profession and its educational requirements. The capstone of the experience is a networking lunch and motivational speaker sponsored by the business partners.

Other annual work-based learning events specifically target Perkins indicators. One good example is our annual “You Go Girls” conference aimed at introducing middle-school-aged girls to non-traditional occupations. It’s very empowering for these young girls to hear from female engineers, computer scientists and business owners (to name a few) and realize that they, too, can be successful at these non-traditional occupations. Available to all of our eight middle schools, an average of 300 girls participate in the experience.  Since initiating this event, the percentage of students enrolled in high school non-traditional programs has risen from 26% to 53%. 

In our district, work-based learning personnel and activities are funded with our Perkins allocation.  Without this flexible funding, we would be unable to offer many of these valuable learning experiences for students.

When students are more engaged in their learning—and certainly work-based learning and career pathways elevate that engagement—they are more likely to stay in school. Perkins data on high school graduation rates show that CTE concentrators, those who earn at least 1.5 credits in the same pathway, have higher high school graduation rates. In our district, 94% of CTE concentrators graduated from high school; while the overall district graduation rate is 85%. 

In my capacity as the ACTE Administration Vice President, I have the opportunity to interact with administrators from across the nation. The work-based learning and pathways programs I’ve described are not unique to Utah.  Excellent CTE programs—programs that engage students—can be found in every state and congressional district across the country. 
With the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, Congress has the opportunity to ensure that high-quality CTE programs, including work-based learning experiences, are available to all students.

Again, thank you for this opportunity to provide testimony today. I look forward to answering your questions.
John Madsen has a healthy disrespect for the impossible.

It’s how he explains his unlikely path to the National Football League—a career he launched without ever having played a game of high school football—and it’s what he instills in the young athletes he mentors today through his John Madsen Performance training program.

“Dream big. Anything is truly possible. It happened for me. It could happen for anybody,” he told teen participants of Canyons District’s 7th annual Job Shadow Day. “And when you dream big, I want you to be a little unrealistic.”

Every year in February, a cohort of CSD students get a chance to spend half-a-day shadowing professionals in marketing, architecture, public works, medicine, or finance — to name just a few of the fields — and then network with their sponsors over lunch. This year, 89 students and 41 companies took part in the event, which marks the beginning of Career and Technical Education Month (CTE).

“By partnering with the business community, CTE programs prepare students for the workforce by exposing them to the technologies and job skills they’ll need,” said Janet Goble, Canyons District's CTE Director. Job Shadow Day is a natural extension of that, because it allows students to test-drive a profession, make early workforce connections and gain some “real world” experience.

The takeaway for some students is the realization that a given career is not the right fit, which allows them to re-direct course now before they enroll in college. But for those who remain firm in their aspirations, the experience can provide an inspirational boost.

On the path to career success, there will be critics who say, “it can’t be done,” said Madsen at the job shadow luncheon. But don’t listen, he said, recounting an experience from his youth.

All that Madsen could ever remember wanting to do was play professional sports. “Professional athlete” was what he wrote down for his No. 1 and No. 2 career picks on the career-planning survey he was asked to complete in seventh grade. “It never occurred to me that it wasn’t possible,” he said.

In truth, the odds were against Madsen succeeding. Only 6 percent of high school players play any kind of college football, and fewer than 3 percent make it to Division 1, said Madsen who didn't even play prep football, having focused instead on basketball and baseball. Nevertheless, he managed to talk his way onto the football team at Snow College, later transferring to the University of Utah where he thrived under Coach Urban Meyer’s tutelage. “I asked them for a shot. I asked them if they would just let me try out,” Madsen said.

Despite being sidelined by an injury his senior year of college, Madsen landed a spot on the Raiders as a free agent in 2006. He also later played for the Cleveland Browns.

Now, his life’s work is to deliver his message of perseverance to the “big dreamers” of today. To the promising, young athletes he trains, he says: Don’t listen to doubters, never give up and have the courage of your convictions. Paraphrasing Henry Ford, he says, “If you believe, you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, you can’t. Either way, you’re right.”

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  • Tuesday, 08 September 2015 18:02

    Students Win International Woodworking Awards

    Three Corner Canyon student guitar-makers this summer won international awards and cash prizes at the Freshwood Student Competition at the Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers (AWFS) convention. The winners are:

    -          Sadie Chidester, first place and $1,000, “Featherprint”

    -          Jacob Rubisch, second place and $500, “Mahogany Gem”

    -          Porter Thorkelson, honorable mention and $250, “Sun Burst.”

    Chidester, Rubisch and Thorkelson are among six students from Corner Canyon, and 19 high school students nationwide, who were selected to compete at Freshwood. The competition was held at the Las Vegas convention in July 2015. The international competition includes high school and college students from the United States and Canada.

    Sadie Chidester - Featherprint
    Jacob Rubisch - Mohagany Gem
    Porter Thorkelson - Sun Burst
  • Sadie Chidester - Featherprint
  • Jacob Rubisch - Mohagany Gem
  • Porter Thorkelson - Sun Burst
  • It's one thing for students in Canyons District to spend their school days working toward being college-and career-ready, but it's quite another when they actually spend a day on the job and learn a little about what the real world is like.  

    That's the experience almost 150 students recently had as they teamed up with 46 local businesses to participate in CSD’s annual Job Shadow Day, the kickoff event of Career and Technical Education Month. Students experienced what it's like to spend a day on the job working in finance, medicine, cancer research, veterinary services, architecture, business management and city planning, to name a few of the opportunities available, then network at a luncheon sponsored by their mentor.

    The experience is aimed at helping students determine what career opportunities appeal to them the most so they can make informed decisions on what kind of schooling, or technical training, will be most beneficial.

    "You don't always get experiences like this, and this is a crucial time to get these ‘inside’ experiences," said Kelsey Smart, a junior at Hillcrest High, who joined Midvale Mayor Joann B. Seghini for an in-depth look at the inner workings of city government. "Not a lot of people get to see what really goes on in local government — that was exciting to me."

    Mentors, like Seghini, also enjoy working with students for a day. It gives potential employers the chance to survey the field of upcoming graduates for a potential new work force, support the community and share their hard-earned wisdom with the next generation.

    "If you feel helpless, you will be," Seghini said as she sat next to Smart at the luncheon. "If you feel empowered, you are. If (students) don’t get out and see what's there they will have no idea what they should be doing. Graduation is just the beginning."

    The good news is, there are many exciting opportunities waiting for students after graduation, said Chet Linton, keynote speaker of the Job Shadow luncheon and president and CEO of the School Improvement Network. According to Linton, by 2018, the amount of students who earn a college degree in order to meet the demands of America's work force will fall short by 3 to 5 million, while at the same time, in 2014, almost half of college graduates under age 25 are out of work or underemployed. The disparity is because students aren't pursing the right careers or the right education to match their desired career, Linton said.

    "We create the life we live — it's up to each of us," Linton said. "I suggest finding things you're passionate about. Ask yourself this question — what are you passionate about? Then do what you love. If you do what you love, you will find something to make you happy."
    Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

    CSD Kicks Off CTE Month with Job Shadow Day

    Canyons District’s celebration of Career and Technical Education Month starts with CSD’s annual Job Shadow Day.

    Some 100 students will be in Salt Lake County firms on Wednesday, Feb. 4 to learn what it’s like to run a business in our community.

    To be sure, the event kicks off the annual recognition of our Career and Technology Education efforts — and the raised awareness of the role that CTE has in preparing our nation for economic success and workforce competitiveness.

    “The activities planned over the next month will illustrate the rigor and relevance CTE courses offer our students,” said Janet Goble, Canyons District's CTE Director.  “By partnering with the business community, CTE programs are investing in students’ lives with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees as well as future leaders.”

    Check out some videos, found on the District’s YouTube channel, that have produced to promote the District’s CTE offerings.
    In addition, Canyons District is hosting the Utah Association of Career and Technical Education Conference on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7. The UACTE event, the statewide professional-development meeting for CTE educators, will be at Corner Canyon High. More than 1,200 CTE teachers, including 100 teachers from Canyons District, have registered to attend. Goble is spearheading the plans for the conference. 

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