On Thursday, March 9, MIJTED Student Tyler Plumb, a junior honors academy student at Chino Valley High School, was asked to testify before the Arizona Senate Education Committee in defense of HB2229, a clean-up bill to the HB5125, which passed and was put into law in 2016, restoring $29 million to JTEDs across the State of Arizona! HB2229 has recently faced opposition from Republican Senators, because of minor changes in wording requested by Arizona Business and Industry that would ensure JTED programs like Advanced Construction, Engineering, Sports Medicine, Business Management, Agriculture and others remain available to students across the State of Arizona. Of primary concern is the fact that these programs lack a viable industry certification that is required to obtain employment. There is no disagreement that where a business recognized certification exists it should be the desired outcome of completers of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The issue of business and industry certifications becomes complex and could leave these industries without a viable pipeline of highly skilled and trained students from JTEDs.
Plumb was selected by the JTEDs to represent Mountain Institute JTED along with students from Pima JTED in Tucson to speak in defense of the programs like those mentioned above that lead to high-demand career opportunities and future employment.
“Plumb had a compelling story to tell,” according to Gretchen Jacobs who represents the JTEDs. Tyler plans to pursue a future career and four-year degree in Agriculture Engineering, which will require skills sets in multiple career areas. He is currently enrolled in four JTED programs; Agriculture, Drafting, Welding, and Engineering and Robotics. Three of these programs would be in danger of being cut-off from State funding if HB2229 fails to pass this Legislative Session. For students like Plumb, this would have a devastating impact on their ability to pursue and fulfill career opportunities in high wage, high need areas that do not have a recognized industry certification!
Plumb’s testimony highlighted the fact that in order to reach his career goals he needs to have skills and training on all four programs. By the end of his senior year, Tyler plans to graduate with his Associates Degree in Engineering from Yavapai College, having compiled nearly 50 post-secondary credits at Yavapai College along with 10 certifications, even though most of them are not industry recognized. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a two religious mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then to transfer to the University of his choice to finish his degree. Ultimately he plans to open his own Mechanical Engineering firm.
Information provided by MIJTED.