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Career and Technical Education Conference: Taking it to the Next Level

Milton Hershey School and Opportunity America partnered for a discussion exploring cutting-edge advancements and challenges facing Career and Technical Education the Taking it to the Next Level conference.

logo of opportunity America

The conference is a partnership between Milton Hershey School and Opportunity America, a nationally recognized Washington D.C. think tank and policy shop which promotes economic mobility – work, skills, careers, entrepreneurship and inclusion.

You’ll hear from television personality John Stossel, CTE experts, educators, government officials including U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, U.S. Rep. G.T. Thompson, and policy makers. Learn more about the Taking it to the Next Level speakers below.

Watch a live stream of the panel discussion. Click on the box below to view.

Speakers include:

Alyssa CherkinAlyssa Cherkin serves as Corporate Citizenship Leader at Deloitte LLP’s Philadelphia office. She works to connect over 1,600 Deloitte professionals with the community through skills-based volunteer opportunities, leadership forums and non-profit partnerships. She has developed Deloitte Education Collaborative, a mentoring program that allows Deloitte professionals and Philadelphia students to work together throughout high school and college.

charlieCharlie Dent is a U.S. Congressman serving the 15th District of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Penn State University with a Foreign Service and International Politics degree. He received a Masters of Public Administration from Lehigh University before serving in the State House of Representatives in 1991. He was elected to the state Senate in 1998 and elected to Congress in 2004. He works to promote economic growth in Pennsylvania.

GurtPete Gurt is the President of Milton Hershey School. He served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of MHS from 2009-2014. As a 1985 graduate of MHS, he personally understands the students and has created a 2020 Vision strategy to increase enrollment and develop new approaches to support student success after high school.

HoachlanderGary Hoachlander is President of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career. Recently established by the James Irvine Foundation, ConnectEd is dedicated to advancing practice, policy, and research designed to help young people prepare for both college and career, not one or the other.

JacobyTamar Jacoby is president of Opportunity America, a Washington-based nonprofit working to promote economic mobility. She was a senior writer and justice editor at Newsweek and the deputy editor of The New York Times op-ed page. She is the author of “Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration,” and editor of “Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means To Be American.” She is president of ImmigrationWorks USA.

Nancy HoffmanNancy Hoffman is the Vice President for Program and Talent Development at Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit that works to ensure educational opportunities and build a highly skilled workforce. Dr. Hoffman is co-lead of the Pathways to Prosperity State Network with Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Network’s goal is to help more young people complete high school and enter an initial career while leaving open the prospect of further education.

lauraLaura Shubilla is the founder of Building 21, a secondary school that gives 21st century learners the freedom to explore their passions and interests. She has spent the last 20 years developing solutions to improve educational outcomes for urban youth. She served as Co-President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network and has built career partnerships and learning opportunities for 20,000 youth annually.

SimpsonBill Simpson is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. He previously served as the General Manager of Hershey® Lodge & Convention Center before being named Vice President, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Before his time at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, he worked at several resort properties throughout the U.S.

James StoneJames R. Stone, III is the Director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) for the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB). His research focuses on improving the educational outcomes of students who are enrolled in CTE programs. As a former editor for the Journal of Vocational Education Research, he has published several articles and books on CTE.

StosselJohn Stossel is an investigative reporter for Fox Business Network. He hosts a weekly program, “Stossel” and discusses current consumer issues using a libertarian viewpoint. He previously co-anchored ABC’s 20/20 show and was a consumer editor for “Good Morning America.” He has created a nonprofit organization called “Stossel in the Classroom,” which transforms his economic programs into teaching kits and videos.

ThompsonG.T. Thompson is a U.S. Congressman serving the 5th District of Pennsylvania. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and his master’s degree from Temple University, he worked as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for 28 years. He has served as a chairman of the Centre County Republican Committee for six years, and he has been a member of the Howard Volunteer Fire Company for 25 years. 

Human Resources
P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


Founders Hall
P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


Enrollment Management Center
430 East Governor Road
Hershey, PA 17033

(800) 322-3248


665 Brook Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 520-2808