Alabama Construction News

JUL-SEP 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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24 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JUL-SEP 2017 COLLIE WELLS SERVING AS NEW INTERIM DEPUTY STATE SUPERINTENDENT Collie Wells has been promoted to the position of interim deputy state superintendent for the Division of Career Technical Education/Workforce Development for the Department of Education. She replaces Dr. Philip Cleveland, who previously held the position. While it is not necessarily a permanent position—a full- time permanent position has not been declared as of yet— Wells is excited about raising awareness about career tech among students, parents and educators alike. "Career tech is for all students," she said. "For a long time we have been misunderstood with many thinking it's just for those who are not college bound. But that's so far from the truth. Career tech benefits all students." Wells is of the opinion that every high school student should graduate from high school having been enrolled in at least one career tech course because it provides exploratory options for careers. "it's important for students to explore what the different career clusters are and be given the chance to find their passion and what they are good at," she said. "It also allows the opportunity to weed out things they know they aren't interested in. I have found in my years of being in career tech that many students think they are interested in one particular career field and then when they experience the coursework or internship opportunity they find they don't like it at all. So career tech is a great stepping stone for students to explore various career fields and different opportunities within those career fields." Wells herself prides herself on being a product of career tech education. She was a career tech teacher (family consumer science) for a school system before she joined the Department of Education. "In my career I've had the opportunity to be involved with so many different career tech programs," she said. "Those experiences have helped provide me with the insight that career tech is for all students. I see so many positive opportunities for students within the career tech clusters." She also sees many positive opportunities for students at the Academy of Craft Training. "I think the Academy has proven to be a perfect blend of how education, business and industry can come together to realize that we all have a stake in this," she said. "We all have to be players in developing the future workforce because education can't do it alone, nor can business or industry. The Academy is a beautiful example of how both identified a need for skilled workers and each realized they have something to contribute."

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