Thompson Delivers Keynote Speech Before 38th Annual Pennsylvania Career & Technical Education Conference

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson today delivered the keynote speech for the 38th Annual Pennsylvania Career & Technical Education Conference, which took place in Lancaster, Pa. Organized by the Pennsylvania Association of Career & Technical Education (PA-ACTE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the conference offered students and school officials workshops on curriculum in select occupational areas and a speaker seminar on related public policy at the state and federal level.    

Thompson, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, discussed his background in education, his work as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, and the overall importance of career and technical education to ensure the future of America’s competitiveness.  

“With the baby boom generation beginning to retire, there isn’t a skilled profession that does not have a shortage in the pipeline to fulfill existing positions,” Thompson described. “During this time of economic uncertainty and record high unemployment, Career and Technical Education Programs provide a life line for the under employed who look to begin new careers alongside young adults just starting out.”

During his professional career, Thompson served as a board member on the Private Industry Council of Central Corridors (PICCC) and the Central Pennsylvania Work Force Investment Board. “It was there that I realized that an employer’s most crucial asset isn’t the location, it isn’t the business plan, it’s actually having a highly qualified and trained workforce – without that, a business cannot succeed,” said Thompson.

“As Congress moves forward with the goal of creating new jobs, we must place a national focus on retooling our workforce in order to remain competitive,” Thompson added.

The 38th Annual PA CTE Conference was keynoted by Thompson and Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board.  Chester P. Wichowski, President, Pennsylvania Association of CTE, and James Comer, President, Association for Career and Technical Education, the national CTE association, both attended the conference.  

The Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus is co-chaired by U.S. Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI).