Our State Representative Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) has been recognized for her work to raise funds for career and technical education (CTE) in middle and high schools and skill centers.
Tarleton won the Washington Business Alliance’s 2017 Career and Technical Education Legislator of the Year award. In addition to pushing for CTE funding in schools, she’s also helped advocate for skills centers to be included as basic education and receive appropriate funding. Tarleton helped secure investments of nearly $200 million in the 2017-2019 budget for CTE funding.
“With this CTE funding, the kids are the winners. And our state’s future as a global leader in maritime and manufacturing jobs feels a bit more secure. Today, more than a million jobs in our state depend on people who can build ships and airplanes, take fishing boats into the North Pacific, design robots, repair underwater sensors, read navigational charts and data, operate cruise ships, monitor engine performance in Arctic waters, and run the IT infrastructure in our biotech and medical research labs,” Tarleton said in a statement.
In Ballard, for example, Ballard High School partners with Seattle Central College’s Maritime Academy, allowing students to learn about jobs within the maritime industry. BHS students have the opportunity to participate in multi-day, hands-on training sessions with the academy. Such partnerships could be more prevalent with CTE funding.
“Kids need to know that when they love to bend metal, or build a boat engine, or monitor robots walking on the ocean floor that they can now take a high school class and get credit towards a high school diploma. Putting CTE back into our middle and high schools will give these kids room to explore all kinds of ways to earn a living, doing work they love,” she said.