53rd NAWI Annual Conference – 2018

Greater Chicago area at Palos Hills, Illinois

Our 53rd Annual National Association for Workforce Improvement (NAWI) conference will be in the greater Chicago area, during May 22, 23, and 24, 2018.  Our 2018 NAWI conference will be held at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 West College Parkway, Palos Hills, Illinois  60465.  This year’s theme is “How Will CTE Shape the Future?”

This year’s conference sessions, all at Moraine Valley Community College, are also brought to you in conjunction with Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Illinois.     Click for Campus Parking Map       Click for Center for Contemporary Technology Building Conference Meeting Rooms Floor Plan

Conference Highlights:

Tuesday, May 22 will be a full day of speakers and interactive sessions followed by the NAWI President’s Reception in the evening. Exact times may differ from what is shown below until the agenda has been finalized.  All times are Central Daylight Saving time.

09:00  Conference check-in and morning snacks.
09:25  Welcoming address
09:35  Tuesday Keynote
10:00   Morning sessions begin
12:00   Lunch
12:40   Afternoon sessions begin
02:50   Break
03:05   Afternoon sessions continue
05:00   Last session ends
05:15    At the evening reception site:   President’s reception and business meeting.

Wednesday, May 23 will be National Science Foundation (NSF) Community College Day, including a keynote panel and an NSF grant workshop.  Please plan to attend the NSF luncheon where leaders of Advanced Technological Education and other NSF programs will discuss programs, grants, and ways that you can become more involved with exciting National Science Foundation funded programs, centers, and projects. While the details of this day have not yet been finalized, the schedule may look like the following:

08:30  Conference check-in for those arriving on Wednesday and morning snacks.
09:00  Welcoming address
09:15   National Science Foundation (NSF) Community College Day begins with Keynote
09:45  Break
10:00  Funding Opportunities session
11:45   Guest Speaker
12:00  Lunch with the NSF Principal Investigator (P.I.) Panel
01:30  Break
01:40  Mock Panel Reviews
03:00  Discussion and closing remarks

Thursday, May 24:  Another day of helpful NAWI sessions.

“How Will CTE Shape the Future?”

You are invited to participate in this year’s 53rd National Association for Workforce Improvement conference in Chicago, Illinois, May 22-24.  This year NAWI members will be taking a serious look at CTE of the future.

This year’s conference “How Will CTE Shape the Future?” will focus on disciplines that are seeing an influx of emerging technologies such as biotechnology, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. We are seeking to identify a variety of approaches that support the conference theme to help teachers, workforce developers, counselors, administrators, and business partners meet the challenges of incorporating these rapidly changing technologies into all aspects of the workforce development from curriculum to collaborations.

Do you have ideas how Career and Technical Education can better support workers, innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, and producers? What lies ahead for CTE delivery?  How does CTE align with the new Maker Movement? To what extent does CTE support the workforce as well as the innovationforce and entrepreneurs? We would love to hear from you!

This year’s conference in Chicago brings together practitioners who will share their experience and expertise to help you grow a renewed culture of innovation in your region. Conference attendees include staff from secondary schools, community colleges, and technical institutes, as well as government leaders in workforce development and representatives of business, industry, and labor.

We plan to have an interactive panel session on the future of CTE to include engaging discussions on topics such as: What will CTE look like?  How do we shape CTE to serve the needs of the millennials and beyond?  What are ways to integrate career clusters?   Skills are important; however, how do we support the emerging student MacGyvers of the world?


Modern CTE/”Innovationforce” Presentation Focus Areas:

Youth Customer

  • What motivates the millennial generation?
  • What will be the livelihood of millennials?
  • What does it mean to be “pigeon holed” in education?
  • How do we apply empathy in addressing student needs and desires?

Economic Reality

  • What are the broad economic trends and what does the emerging economy look like?
  • What role does innovation and entrepreneurship play in future economics?
  • How is sustainability and carbon reduction helping to grow the economy?
  • What is a Maker City and how is it fueling the undercurrent of economic development?

Ways that CTE Professionals can Respond

  • How can Design Thinking be applied to CTE?
  • What role can making and innovation play in CTE?
  • Solutions in every pathway…examples of student developed projects.
  • In what ways can CTE evolve to support the economy of the future?

Key Perennial CTE Focus Areas:

  • Implementing differentiated teaching methods that work;
  • How can we integrate skills and experiences across Career Clusters?
  • Creating and maintaining business/industry/education partnerships and internships as a part of a meaningful and applied education experience for students;
  • Project and problem based learning approaches;
  • Economic development: ways CTE contributes;
  • Ways industry can share their talents, resources, expertise, and real world projects.

In addition, these areas will be discussed, debated, and decided:

  • What is the new economy? Is CTE ready for the Third Industrial Revolution?
  • What are the limits of Certs and Certifications: What are emerging market needs?
  • MacGyverism: How do you develop MacGyvers in the classroom? How do you measure it?
  • Work based learning that improves engagement, access and speed. What is changing?
  • Peer Recognition: the ultimate motivator. How do badges help?
  • Knowing the millennial customer. What do students want?
  • Makerspace Mania: What are your creative spaces?
  • Workforce and Innovationforce: What are the points of intersection and differences?
  • Inter-program Projects: Why should CTE adopt inter-program projects?
  • Engineering, art, entrepreneurship: Why are these important together?
  • The Art of Exhibition: Why is exhibiting one of the most important things you can do?
  • Short courses: it there a renewed need and interest?
  • What is lies beyond Career Clusters?
  • Should Making be in all CTE programs?