As you may have heard the Port Angeles School District Board of Directors are discussing closing the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center. Here is one man’s reaction to that conversation. Richard Wade made the following speech before the school board last Thursday.
Good evening, my name is Richard Wade and I’m the education coordinator on the board of directors for PAPA TV.
Various sources have indicated that this body intends to close down the North Olympic Peninsula Skill Center. It’s my understanding pink slips have already been issued to select employees of the facility.
As a concerned citizen of Clallam County and a community volunteer, I find this course of action troubling to say the least.
My involvement in PAPA TV is solely to create a business model to promote job opportunities and career paths for the youth of our community.
As a matter of fact, our entire board of directors, all of whom are volunteers, fully intend to employ our locally trained youth at PAPA studios, giving them the opportunity to pursue their passions and showcase their skill set in the television, cinematography and motion picture industry.
We have also utilized the Culinary Arts Students on numerous occasions for banquets and catering finding their gastronomical delicacies quite delightful, not to mention the service top notch as well.
I would encourage this body and anyone from the community to take the time and visit any program provided at the Skills Center and watch these young future professionals self-actualize in their chosen field. This is not only a cognitive exchange of ideas but real, hands on, practical application of skill sets directly pertaining to each student’s chosen career path. The energy in these real life settings is electrifying!
My concern for the Skills Center goes well beyond previously uninformed local community members, it also extends to a number of State Representatives who have been apprised of your pending action.
Please keep in mind, they too have worked hard to create and fund this program and have a vested interest in the future of the skills center and our communities youth. These representatives are committed to looking into both immediate funding to retain valuable personnel and to maintain continuity of enrollment, along with “buying time” to allow for an investigation to explore others ways to structure the administrative vehicle.
The reality is, reports have already been created and actions taken supporting the closing of the Skills Center. All we, referring to the silent majority of our community, are asking of this body is to retract and suspend any future action related to the Skills Center closure and or re-designation until all avenues have been explored and outside resources can thoroughly examine other viable options.
I would also encourage this body to research Governor Inslee’s position on Skills Centers in general, I believe you’ll find it enlightening to say the least.
In closing, I urge you, please suspend any further action on this matter until we, the concerned citizens of Clallam County, can find common ground and the right solution to this academic quagmire.
The actions we take today will impact current and future generations to come, let’s work together for the sake of their future.