Career and Technical Education Roundtable Highlights Workforce Development Needs and Educational Pathways

NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leaders in higher education, workforce development, and government came together to spearhead a Career and Technical Education (CTE) roundtable addressing the workforce needs of Virginia and the nation. Twelve panelists explored training and educational pathways leading to skilled labor positions and the importance of collaboration between institutions, government bodies, and industry. The panel was moderated by Cathy Lewis, founding host of HearSay on WHRV-FM, and hosted by Dr. Joel English, Executive Vice President of Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), Centura College, and Tidewater Tech. 

The discussion, a continuation of the recent CTE trip to Germany, highlighted the urgent need for students to consider technical career pathways and contribute to filling critical industry needs. By aligning education and training programs with the demands of the job market, students can secure rewarding careers while addressing the workforce shortage. Dr. English emphasized joining forces to effectively address the growing demand for skilled labor and bridge the gap between education and employment. The roundtable provided a platform for participants to exchange ideas, share best practices, and discuss innovative solutions to tackle the workforce shortage. At AIM’s Chicago campus, for example, students from Olive-Harvey College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago network, can attend a dual-enrollment program to obtain their A&P Certification. From there, they can transfer credits toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management at Southern Illinois University. 

"What we want to do is take the opportunity to combine forces - community colleges, universities, and technical colleges - to make sure we are creating the most opportunity for students," Dr. English said. 

J. Noah Brown, Senior Advisor, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, United States Department of Education said, “The Biden-Harris Administration is raising the bar in education and unlocking career success by making sure every student has clear and defined pathways from high school to postsecondary education credentials that align to workforce needs and gainful employment.”  

In addition to Brown and Dr. English, the panel included Anthony Reedy, Deputy Secretary of Labor for Virginia. Representing the academic sector were esteemed educators Sarah Jane Kirkland, Associate VP of Corporate Partnership, Old Dominion University; Laura Hanson, Associate VP of Corporate Solutions, Tidewater Community College; and Cheryl Freeman-Smith, Dean of Career Programs & Continuing Education, Olive-Harvey College. For workforce development, the panel included representatives from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and Hampton Roads Alliance.

Jared Chalk, Chief Business Development Officer of Hampton Roads Alliance, said, "Economic development in our region thrives when targeted industries align with workforce development. As we cultivate industries of the future, we are simultaneously equipping our workforce with the skills and knowledge to excel in these fields. It's a forward-thinking approach where economic growth and talent development work hand in hand, propelling Hampton Roads towards a prosperous and sustainable future." 

For more information about partnering with Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech, please contact Nicole Gleaton, Director of Communications at 

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), Centura College, and Tidewater Tech (ACT) have been part of an organization dedicated to helping individuals develop careers since 1969. The schools connect students to local communities and career fields through training in aviation, healthcare, technology, business, and trades. ACT offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, and job placement assistance. AIM’s campuses are located near the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando, and Norfolk. Centura College and Tidewater Tech are in Hampton Roads, VA. To learn more, visit,, and

Nicole Gleaton
Aviation Institute of Maintenance

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