Bush Taps Workforce Expert To Head Adult, Voc. Ed. Office

By John Gehring — April 04, 2001 2 min read

President Bush has selected a former policy and planning specialist for the Indiana education department to be the federal Department of Education’s assistant secretary for vocational and adult education.

Carol D’Amico, a former senior policy analyst with the Hudson Institute, an Indianapolis-based public-policy organization, currently serves as the executive director for workforce, economic, and community development at Ivy Tech State College-Indianapolis, part of Indiana’s two-year college system.

Carol D'Amico

While at the Hudson Institute, Ms. D’Amico co-wrote, among other publications, Workforce 2020. That 1997 book addressed how fast-paced technological changes have affected the workplace.

Ms. D’Amico, who holds a doctorate of education from Indiana University, has experience advising businesses and communities on workforce trends. Before joining the Hudson Institute in 1990, she spent four years as a policy adviser to the Indiana superintendent of public instruction.

“Carol D’Amico’s experience and her knowledge will be an asset to the Department of Education,” Secretary of Education Rod Paige said in a March 23 statement released by the White House. “I look forward to working with her to expand opportunities for America’s adults through education.”

People who have worked with Ms. D’Amico, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, said she has a wealth of experience to offer in her new position.

“She will bring a genuine sort of yen for reform,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., a former assistant secretary of education under President Reagan who worked with her at the Hudson Institute and heads the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washington research organization. “She has been around this field for a long time.”

Kimberly Green, the executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Vocational Technical Educational Consortium, said she didn’t know Ms. D’ Amico. But Ms. Green said she hoped the Bush administration would give career, technical, and vocational issues high priority.

Field Has Changed

Vocational education, she said, did not receive the same funding increases under the Clinton administration as did other education-related programs. “There was a lack of understanding that voc-ed has changed—not just its image, but the substance of its system,” she said.

Ms. Green said time would tell whether President Bush, who along with his opponent Al Gore rarely mentioned career and technical education during the 2000 campaign, would support increased funding.

“We are hopeful,” she said, “but we don’t have anything to hang our hat on to say we should be optimistic or working harder.”

Bret Lovejoy, the executive director of the Association for Career and Technical Education, a national membership organization that represents teachers, counselors, and administrators in career and technical programs, said in a statement: “I look forward to working with Dr. D’Amico on education and workforce-development issues of importance to career and technical educators, and I know her background in education will be a tremendous resource for the [Education] Department.”

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A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2001 edition of Education Week as Bush Taps Workforce Expert To Head Adult, Voc. Ed. Office