VHS junior advocates for career and technical education in Washington

Jeff Bobo • Oct 15, 2019 at 5:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — Volunteer High School junior Ellie McLain recently attended the Washington Leadership Training Institute in Washington, D.C., where she met with Sen. Marsha Blackburn and discussed the importance of career and technical education.

McLain is a member of Volunteer's Criminal Justice SkillsUSA Club, as well as a member of the Tennessee State Officer Team.

As a state officer, McLain was invited to attend the Washington Leadership Training Institute on Sept. 21-25, which is a conference featuring a student leadership track on key career readiness topics.

The conference is intended to help students develop their professionalism, communication and leadership skills while learning to advocate for career and technical education.

McLain said: “I met with Sen. Marsha Blackburn herself, along with her staff and discussed how today’s workforce has reported difficulties in filling job openings due to the lack of qualifications, as well as how our economy and the ability to earn a living wage are directly impacted by these factors.”

The conference includes in-depth training sessions on hot topics, effective communication and the opportunity to advocate with legislative leaders.

The Washington Leadership Training Institute also provided networking opportunities with hundreds of Career and Technical Education students from across the nation.

But the trip wasn't all work.

“Along with the many meetings with influential figures, I was also able to visit many monuments and historical sites, such as the World War II Memorial, the White House, the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Arlington, the House of Representatives and many museums,” McLain said. “The trip to Washington broadened my horizons, as one may say. This trip was an impactful stepping stone in my life that I will never forget.”