Hello everyone. Over the last month the executive has been working on organizing the conference by finding out through a survey what you would like. We will incorporate this information into the planning.

As president, I have attended several meetings to help build relationships that will assist Technology Education teachers and programs.

In February I attended the BC Building Trades convention, which I learned has an incredible lobby initiative with the government. They were very receptive around the idea of working with us around training at our conference and giving guidance as to what industry values in future workers.

I have also been working with the BC Construction Association on “Project Shop Class”, and funding towards equipment upgrades. This organization is also setting up a steering committee to look at and create a “Learning Profile for Construction Jobs”. The objective of this project will be to develop a learning profile for secondary school students that will most effectively prepare them for their first job in the construction sector and set them on the right track towards sponsorship into a trade apprenticeship. Very exciting actually because we have a voice along with the Ministry of Education, Advanced Education, the ITA and Industry. What would be great is if Technology Education courses could start to get recognition for helping get and keep youth turned on to the trades, and maybe some funding towards equipment replacements, material budgets increased, and of course a look at the numbers of students in a shop.

The Skills Exploratory course is a very good example where Technology Education teachers can be a close partner to the trades sector. If possible it would be nice for each district to offer this course next year.

The ITA is close to releasing their youth review, and hopefully there will be some recognition of Technology Education courses. The Skills Exploratory is one initiative that the ITA and Ministry both worked on very closely to create. We have added some good input into the review over the last few years, along with district career departments. There seems to be the identified need to provide the “applied skills” to more students.