Career and technical education groups said they are pleased to have one of their own nominated for assistant secretary for career, technical and adult education -- the top job dealing with work-force issues at the Department of Education.
The White House this week said it would nominate Scott Stump, an executive at learning services firm Vivayic Inc., for the job. Previously, Stump worked for more than a decade in the Colorado Community College System, where he served as assistant provost of career and technical education.
"From the perspective of someone in the field of CTE, he is someone we know, we trust, we think has incredible knowledge about the system of career and technical education," said Kimberly Green, executive director of Advance CTE, which advocates for high-quality career training programs. "He has dedicated his entire professional career to this area."
Stump also has a connection to the organization, having served as a board president of Advance CTE. Green said she wasn't aware of another pick for the assistant secretary job in recent memory who had a direct connection to career training. Others have had backgrounds in adult education -- which deals mostly with basic academic competencies -- or policy backgrounds with little connection to career training.
The Trump administration pulled the nomination of its first pick for the job, Michigan state representative Tim Kelly, after years-old blog posts came to light that included offensive remarks about women and Muslims. In contrast with Kelly, Stump has a deep professional background in the area covered by the office.
Kermit Kaleba, federal policy director at the National Skills Coalition, said that's a positive, given uncertainty over the position at the department.
"I'm heartened to see they've got someone who is conversant with different players in the system and who, I think, will have the best interests of the student and other stakeholders in mind," he said.