Image Obtained from WhiteHouse.gov In a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY President Barack Obama addressed the increasing need for education to adapt.  He said, "over the last few decades the changing economy has seen many manufacturing plants close in the face of global competition."  It's no secret that many manufacturing jobs have moved overseas in the name of cheaper labor.  So how does education adapt in this changing economy?

    One way is to make education more relevant to its public. Businesses must start partnering with education to create a more applicable experience where students graduate with both "hard-" and "soft-skills."  During his speech the President also said, "Students here at Hudson Valley Community College are training full time while working part time at GE Energy in Schenectady, becoming a new generation of American leaders in a new generation of American manufacturing.  IBM is partnered with the University at Albany; their partnership in nanotechnology is helping students train in the industries in which America has the potential to lead.  Rensselaer is partnering not only with this institution but with businesses throughout the Tech Valley.  And early next year, Hudson Valley Community College’s state-of-the-art TEC-SMART training facility is set to open side-by-side with Global Foundry’s coming state-of-the-art semiconductor plant."  

    President Obama believes that America must go back to its roots in order to be a word leader again; America must commit to research once more.  According to the President:

    "We also have to strengthen our commitment to research, including basic research, which has been badly   neglected for decades.  That's always been one of the secrets of America's success -- putting more and
    more money into research to create the next great inventions, the great technologies that will then spur
    further economic growth.

    The fact is, though, basic research doesn't always pay off immediately.  It may not pay off for years.  When it does, the rewards are often broadly shared, enjoyed by those who bore its costs but also by those  who didn't pay a dime for that basic research.

    That's why the private sector generally under-invests in basic science.  That's why the public sector must  invest instead. While the risks may be large, so are the rewards for our economy and our society.  I mean,  understand it was basic research in the photoelectric effect that would one day lead to solar panels.  It was basic research in physics that would eventually produce the CAT scan.  The calculations of today's GPS   satellites, they're based on basic research --equations Einstein put on paper more than a century ago. Nobody knew they'd lead to GPS, but they understood that as we advance our knowledge, that is what is   going to help advance our societies.

    When we fail to invest in research, we fail to invest in the future."

    Image Obtained from DriveTo55.org Governor Haslam has also placed an emphasis on education.  The Governor believes that Tennessee needs job and to create to job you have to attract businesses to your state.  But to get businesses to your state you need a ready and able workforce.  That is why he announced his "Drive to 55," which is his goal to have 55% of the state's population with at least a college degree or certification by 2025.

    The Governor argues,
    "55% of the jobs require a certificate or degree and if we don't meet that demand those jobs will go elsewhere, guaranteed.

    So the question becomes, Why NOT Career Magnet Academy?  That is why The Knox County Schools, Pellissippi State Community College, and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce have partnered to start Career Magnet Academy at Pellissippi State Community College. 

    Image obtained from FrontLinek12.com

    Image obtained from Recycler.com Dr. Mike North, Dean of Students for the Strawberry Plains campus is excited about the opportunities this partnership fosters.  When asked why Pellissippi State embarked on this journey he replied, "With the recent purchase of the Strawberry Plains campus, Pellissippi State is excited about the synergies that can be created among the College, Knox County Schools, the Chamber of Commerce, and our various educational partners.  Ultimately, the role each will play will create wonderful opportunities for Career Magnet Academy students.  In a single facility, a CMA student will be able to complete a high school diploma, an associate's degree, and various certifications.  That student can also pursue an undergraduate and graduate program of study at Strawberry Plains.  It's a wonderful example of innovating in education as we proceed into the 21st century."

    Image obtained from MoserVisuals.com Mike Edwards, President and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is also excited about the future of the Career Magnet Academy.  When asked why the Chamber supported this endeavor he said, "The Knoxville Chamber became involved in the development of the Career Magnet Academy because of the commitment by The Knox County Schools to produce an institution that will prepare students with the highest level of skills sets for the jobs of today and into the future.  We are pleased that all of our hopes and expectations have been met."