Dr. David Volkman
Dr. David Volkman speaks at the BCET Coming Together for Education Dinner

Beaver County came together for education thanks to the efforts of the Beaver County Educational Trust. The “Coming Together for Education” dinner was held last night at Shadow Lakes Country Club from 6pm-8pm with over 170 in attendance.

And in a major success, the event was able to attract the attention of the PA Department of Education, which sent, Dr. David Volkman, the Executive Deputy Secretary to be the keynote speaker. Dr. Volkman spoke about the administration’s PAsmart proposal, which is an effort to refocus Pennsylvania schools on student preparedness to enter the economy of tomorrow, today. The plan includes new ways of evaluating individual schools based on student outcomes in a number of areas instead of synthesizing performance to a single unit of measurement the PSPP. PAsmart is included in the current state budget proposal to the tune of $50 million*:

  • $25 million increase in STEM and computer science education at all levels. Nearly 300,000 jobs in the commonwealth require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Over the next decade, more than 70 percent of new jobs will require these skills.
  • $7 million increase in apprenticeships with a goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices by 2025. Since Governor Wolf established the commonwealth’s first Apprenticeship and Training Office in 2016, the number of registered apprentices has increased 14.5 percent, from 13,282 registered apprentices to 15,208.
  • $3 million increase for Industry Partnerships which bring together workers and multiple employers in the same industry in a public-private partnership to provide job training.
  • $10 million increase to develop Career and Technical Education and STEM career pathways to help students learn about career options and earn an associate degree at a lower cost and in less time.
  • $5 million increase to encourage employers to partner with colleges and universities to develop educational programs that prepare students for the jobs high demand jobs that local employers need.

*information from the DCED website

The Beaver County Education Trust is grateful the PA Department of Education was able to participate in the event and thanks Dr. Volkman for coming to Beaver County to speak.

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