Members from across the country gathered in Denver for NUCA’s Fall Leadership Conference (FLC). The FLC primarily focused on workforce development and making highly-skilled vo-tech programs a priority in the nation’s high schools again.
Keynote Speaker Joe Shaw, principal of Colorado-based Warren Tech High School — arguably the best vo-tech high school in the country — shared information about the school’s brand-new pre-apprentice construction trades track, including utility construction. The biggest hurdle, he said, is overcoming resistance from school superintendents and administrators, funding and parents who believe four-year college is the only successful career path option for their children.
Following his presentation, Shaw opened the floor for a lively 45-minute question and answer session primarily focused on the most important things members can do to help bring serious skilled trade programs back into the public school system. At the conclusion of Shaw’s presentation, past-chairman Ron Nunes presented a donation to Warren Tech, which Shaw indicated will go toward continued development of its pre-apprentice construction program.
The following day, Warren Tech administrators took attendees on personal tours of the school, allowing members to see students working on the wide range of impressive tech programs housed on the school’s main campus.