On Sept. 17, ATEC presented its Legislative Leadership Award to Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.).
The award, presented by the council’s board of directors, recognizes elected officials with long professional experience and deep personal commitment to technical education and skills training. As a former member of the Alabama Board of Education and chancellor of the state’s Department of Postsecondary Education, Rep. Byrne has committed a significant portion of his public life to the future of the American workforce.
The ATEC board gathered in Washington this week for the council’s annual Fly-In and fall business meeting. In addition to honoring Rep. Byrne on Thursday, board members crisscrossed the nation’s capital to meet members of Congress, staffers and officials at both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
At every stop, the group’s message was the same: Help aviation maintenance schools build the technical workforce of the future. Board members extolled policymakers to pass laws and develop rules to bolster the efforts of instructors and students as they build the next generation of aviation professionals. In this effort, Rep. Byrne has proven a strong partner.
“Every now and then, we come to D.C. and find an ally who ‘gets it,’” said Ryan Goertzen, ATEC’s president and president of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. “A person already dedicated to the cause of technical education: Someone who recognizes that by building practical, industry-demanded skills, we enhance the welfare of our citizens while guaranteeing the health of our economy. For ATEC, Congressman Byrne is such an ally.”
As a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, Rep. Byrne is well-positioned to lead on behalf of institutions that provide technical training.
“Based on [Rep. Byrne’s] record of service,” Goertzen concluded, “and in anticipation of the work he will continue on behalf of the students and instructors in technical programs across the nation, we hold the congressman up as an example of good service to the men and women whose technical skills keep the world safely in flight.”
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