Kevin Saunders was the keynote motivational speaker for the Texas Association of College Technical Educators (TACTE) Conference, held in Austin, TX this past week. Kevin’s talk focused on the importance of accepting change and overcoming challenges in our work and personal lives. As in a lot of other fields, this is a critical time in Education, as colleges and universities have to keep pace with, and anticipate, the evolving needs of job markets.
In the past, a 4-year college education could prepare you with a solid foundation for decades of career knowledge. Since 2000, we’ve seen unprecedented changes as technology disrupts many industries. In most cases, these shifts bring great competitive advantages. However, many recent college graduates have found a difficult time “plugging in” to the job market because of the growing gap between their education foundation and the rapidly changing realities of the workforce.
TACTE serves as a “resource for Texas workforce education by offering activities and services that promote sound and effective workforce education practices.” For example, Texas State Technical College was established over 50 years ago by former Texas Governor John Connally. His goal was to create “the most sophisticated technical-vocational institute in the country.” This was a part of his plan to create a stronger Texas by teaching the latest technology (industrial and digital) in Texas schools.
(Left) Governor John Connally of Texas is seen waving from the motorcade, accompanied by President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and Mrs. Connally, on the day of Kennedy’s assassination.
President Kennedy’s vision for the “moonshot” – landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s – was an audacious goal that mobilized America’s brightest minds in Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) to rise to the challenge. Similarly, Governor Connally’s goal to make Texas a leader in science and technology serve to underscore the visionary attitude of our leaders over 5 decades ago.
Governor Connally’s vision is alive and well today, as college students in Texas can take advantage of community and technical colleges offering programs including:
- Cloud & Data Center Management
- Computer Science
- Cyber Security
- Computer Aided Manufacturing
- Database & Web Programing
- Digital Media Design
- Electronics Technology
- Health Information Technology
- Mechatronics Technology
…and a whole range of other specialized areas that represent high-growth career areas.
Pictures of Kevin when he attended Community College on a Football and Track & Field Scholarship
Kevin also shared his own personal experience with Community colleges. After graduating from Downs High School in Kansas, he was fortunate to receive athletic scholarships to attend community college. That provided him with an opportunity to meet a lot of requirements and pre-requisites, before transferring to a Division-I school: Kansas State University. He’d later obtain a Master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Left: Kevin pictured with McAllen, TX representatives at the TACTE convention Right: Kevin pictured with representatives from DEL MAR Community College the college that helped give Kevin his life back after his injury
Throughout, Kevin reminded the attendees that one thing that has never changed – even through the digital revolution – is that there is no shortcut to success…just good, old-fashioned hard work! The wisdom of Thomas Edison is more relevant than ever, because Genius truly is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration!
Kevin pictured, with Dr. Ben Stafford from Lamar State College (left) and Lesley Keeling-Olson the Division Director, Business and Career Professions and Professor of Criminal Justice for Temple College (right).
TACTE attendees were energized after Kevin’s educational speaking keynote and many in the audience commented on how he was the best motivational speaker they had ever listened to. If you need a great speaker for your next event, call (713) 686-0077 to book Kevin Saunders, who is based in Houston, TX. Kevin speaks to groups around the United States on Workplace Safety, Peak Performance, Sales, Marketing, and Overcoming Adversity. Past clients include Fortune 100 companies, premier Universities, Non-profit organizations, and many more. He designs each presentation around the audience to help them, and their organization, achieve breakthroughs and reach new levels of success.