In an effort to draw attention to an educational success story as well as highlight the need for continuing development of a manufacturing and technical workforce, President Barack Obama will be speaking to this year’s Worcester Technical High School graduating class this afternoon.
“The school’s combination of rigorous academics and hands-on learning opportunities characterizes the President’s vision for an education that works for America’s students,” according to a White House official who was speaking on the condition of anonymity in advance of the president’s speech. “He will reiterate his commitment to reforming America’s education system, as well as his challenge to redesign America’s high schools and connect our nation’s learners to high-speed broadband.”
Bill DiBenedetto, President of Uxbridge, MA-based Lampin Corporation commented, “Lampin has been an active supporter of STEM education for quite some time now, and we’re excited to learn that the White House is now promoting technical education in this manner.” He added, “The future of manufacturing and technical operations in this country is the next generation of young people in our schools today. If they are not given a solid educational foundation along with an awareness of the career opportunities in the manufacturing industry, this vital domestic economic sector will ultimately die out as it is exported to other countries.”
Worcester Tech is led by Dr. Sheila Harrity, a National High School Principal of the Year who was recognized last month at the White House. When she took over in 2006, the school was one of the lowest performing schools in the state. However, the school is now ranked among the best in Massachusetts in terms of testing scores. In fact, during her time at Worcester Tech, Harrity has seen the graduation rate grow by 17 percentage points (from 79.3% in 2006 to 96.4% in 2012) and the dropout rate fall from 6.5% in 2006 to 1.5% in 2012.
It’s no wonder that the President of the United States feels that Worcester Technical High School is a great venue at which to speak about the future of education in this country!