- Written by Madeline Carey
- Category: Community
- Published: 18 July 2018
American Graduate: Getting to Work, a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is dedicated to the long-term success of the nation’s youth through education and career development. For most high school students, a four-year degree seems to be the only choice; however, American Graduate emphasizes the importance and high- demand for skilled trade jobs in Hampton Roads as well as across the nation.
While the American Graduate initiative initially focused on high school retention and graduation, American Graduate: Getting to Work places particular emphasis fostering awareness of the skills needed for local high demand jobs and the pathways that lead to gainful employment. As part of the initiative, WHRV has been creating education-based content via “HearSay with Cathy Lewis” and “Educationally Speaking”.
“HearSay with Cathy Lewis”
As an extension of the American Graduate: Getting to Work emphasis on promoting career pathways for students as well as highlighting local in-demand skilled Jobs, HearSay’s Cathy Lewis sat down with Dr. Aaron Smith from Denbigh High School’s Aviation Academy and Dr. Bob McNab, a professor of economics at Old Dominion University.
Dr. Smith, the acting program director of the Denbigh Aviation Academy in Newport News, as well as past and present students alike, discuss details of the magnet program that focuses specifically on piloting, aircraft maintenance, engineering, computers and electronics.
One former student, Michael 22, said that deciding to join the aviation academy was simple for him. “ I had always enjoyed aviation but it was never anything that I had considered as a career choice.” However, Michael ultimately concluded, “ it's one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
In Contrast, Dr. McNab, a frequent guest on HearSay with Cathy Lewis discussed the potential for skilled labor job growth in Hampton Roads, stating that “manufacturing is starting to take off again,” and that the “recently passed defense bill in Congress will be an engine of economic growth in Hampton Roads.”
For more on American Graduate, for instance, the current state of the maritime industry in our region with “A Life on the Water” from June 14, 2018.
“HearSay with Cathy Lewis” airs Monday through Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. on WHRV.
Local salon owner Krista Gray, enrolled in beauty school at nineteen. A product of vocational education, Gray is an advocate for allowing children to choose their career path on their own. “Everyone has a passion or path they have to live with.” And according to Gray, parents must allow their children to do what they love and sometimes that means vocational school rather than a traditional four-year degree.
Gray is just one of the guests on WHRV’s “Educationally Speaking.” Airing Mondays at 11 a.m., “Educationally Speaking” is back with a series of segments directly linked to American Graduate: Getting to Work. These two-minute segments cover topics ranging from vocational education in today’s public schools to the necessary skills in our increasingly technological workplace.
“Educationally Speaking” features experts across the region giving their take on changes occurring in their respective fields. Guests include former ODU president Jim Koch, Rob Harriell, President and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas, and Nancy Littlefied, Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Riverside Health Services.
Click to listen to the latest episode of "Educationally Speaking"
American Graduate is a collaboration between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and WHRO.