The recent landmark changes in legislation impacting career and technical education (CTE) would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of a committed group of individuals and organizations brought together by the Washington Business Alliance (WaBA). We are especially grateful to four key legislators for their support of this important piece of legislation.

WaBA is presenting each of the four legislators who led the charge in making this monumental challenge a reality with a Legislator of the Year Award. The final award will be made on September 13, 2017 to Senator Christine Rolfes.

Thanks to these key legislators, both businesses desperately in need of qualified workers and students looking for an alternative to the traditional four-year college path, benefit. Not only is career and technical education now considered a part of basic education, $510 million over the next four years will be invested in CTE. This funding will support middle and high school programs that provide 21st century academic and technical skills for students.

The four Legislators of the Year are:

  • Representative Paul Harris
  • Senator John Braun
  • Senator Christine Rolfes
  • Representative Gael Tarleton
Each of these legislators played an important role in the CTE legislation and all are passionate about our youth and their future. “With each passing year, today’s students and tomorrow’s employees face more diverse and competitive demands,” said Senator John Braun, R-Centralia. “Not every student has the same career path just as the job market is not one-size-fits all.”
Senator Braun receives his award from WaBA president, Collen McAleer.
Representative Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, facilitated the bi-partisan K-12 education funding and policy negotiations, and assured industry relevant coursework is available in our public schools for students statewide. “I always want to make a difference in the lives of our young people,” said Harris. “To be an integral part of this plan is something special.”
Representative Harris receives his Legislator of the Year Award from WaBA.
Representative Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, is a former Port of Seattle Commissioner and is a strong proponent of vocational training. Tarelton has worked with colleagues across teh aisle in both chambers to push for CTE and skills centers to be included as basic education. “With this funding the kids are the winners,” she said. “And our state’s future as a global leader in maritime and manufacturing jobs feels a bit more secure.”
Representative Tarleton received her award at the Seattle Maritime Academy where she was able to take a ship simulator on a “test drive.”
Thanks again to these legislators, champions of properly funded career and technical education to benefit both business and students.