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Commissioner's Message
Brad's Thoughts
Dear Friends:

On Wednesday, I had the great privilege of visiting Mt. Angel Middle School and Silverton High School and seeing students totally engaged in the new career and technical education (CTE) classes made possible by one of eight CTE Revitalization Grants awarded for this school year.  In a perfect example of a 21st century “shop class,” I saw a room full of Silverton High students using DeWalt drills to drill into leg bones, learning with their own hands the steps to repairing a knee after a meniscus tear.  Biomedical science and sports medicine, taught by a certified teacher, is exactly the kind of 21st century CTE we want in our schools: practical, hands-on experience that helps prepare our students for living wage jobs.  That class in Silverton is overwhelmingly young people setting a career path to nursing school and the high-demand healthcare workforce.  

The partnership between the Mt. Angel and Silver Falls School Districts, sharing curriculum, infrastructure, teachers and other resources, means they can bring more CTE options to students than either could independently—a major victory for Mt. Angel and Mark Twain Middle Schools, which previously had no CTE offerings.
During my tour, Trish Conlon, who is coordinating the CTE partnership, emphasized the scalability of their approach.  Not only is the model something that can be expanded within these school districts to bring even more options to students, but it’s something that can be shared with other districts across the state.  That’s something that our grant review team looked for right off the bat: will other school districts be able to adopt and learn from the experiences of these inaugural grant recipients? 
As you already know, the 21 schools with new and expanded CTE options this school year because of our grants are just the first phase in the plan that I and others have been pushing all along: make high-quality CTE options available to all Oregon students.  The efforts underway in Silverton and Mt. Angel, at Churchill High in Eugene and Joseph High in Joseph, and through our other grant recipients this year, are laying exactly the broad and diverse foundation of tested models that other school districts will be able to build on as we bring programs back to every school throughout the state.
I hope you’re as excited as I am about the work that’s going on right now, and how strongly it’s building the case for the legislature to significantly enhance the CTE Revitalization Grant Fund in 2013.  We have momentum and we’re going to be in a good position to capitalize on it next session.
In Eugene on November 15th?
The Oregon Council on Civil Rights is still accepting public comment and personal experiences on equal pay for equal work in our state.  You can provide feedback online right now, or plan to attend a Community Forum on Equal Pay in Eugene on the evening of November 15th.  All the details for the forum are on the OCCR webpage, so check it out and plan to join us!
BOLI Employment Law Conference is this month!

Time is running out to get the early bird registration price for BOLI's 28th Annual Employment Law Conference, coming up on November 29 and 30 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.  It's two days full of the best educational sessions on the full range of employment law topics that supervisors and managers, and HR professionals and lawyers, all need to understand.  Sign up by Nov. 10 to ensure you get that early bird discount!

And, while the BOLI conference is the best value in training for Oregon employers every year, don't forget about our specialized public seminars, coming up in Portland this week and next week: Employee Supervision: A Two-Day Basic Training on Nov. 7-8 and Recordkeeping Requirements on Nov. 15.

The BOLI Technical Assistance for Employers Program appreciates your support and interest in our services!  Visit our webpage for more on the full range of resources we provide to support stronger Oregon employers.