Sam Rasoul, a former ANU instructor and new member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the Eleventh District, visited the 50th Annual SkillsUSA Virginia Leadership Conference and Skill Competition that occurred April 4th and 5th at the Roanoke Civic Center to show his support for the students and the tourism that the event brings to the Roanoke Valley. More than 1,100 high school and college students participated in 99 competitions demonstrating their skills in career areas such as emergency medical technology, first aid/CPR, computer maintenance technology, criminal justice, and technical computer applications.
“I’d like to commend Delegate Rasoul for his participation in the SkillsUSA Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference,” said Tim Lawrence, Executive Director of SkillsUSA. “His presence demonstrated a sincere interest in workforce and economic development for the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was very refreshing to hear Delegate Rasoul’s comments regarding the high level of technical skills demonstrated by the student participants and his understanding that students in Career and Technical Education and SkillsUSA are heavily involved in learning and practicing skills that are grounded in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.”
During the legislative session, Delegate Rasoul introduced a career and technical education bill, HB 1128. The bill has several components, one of which seeks a plan for increasing the number of students receiving industry certification and state licensure as part of their career and technical education. He wanted to have this bill be his first project “because of the changing needs of the business community-it is important for us to have school divisions and localities that provide support for technical students.” Secondly, Delegate Rasoul wanted to have a bipartisan bill to demonstrate that the members are willing to work together to help our region. “We also need to coordinate with local workforce development to build an advisory capacity,” said Delegate Rasoul. “Workforce development is an important part of the education coalition and economic development is becoming the most important. Workforce readiness is what firms consider when growing and expanding. We need to make sure the Roanoke region is as competitive as possible,” he added.
Delegate Rasoul is a former CFO and COO of a non-profit healthcare firm. He said, “I grew up in a family of small business owners. I am a small business owner. Roanoke raised me and I am very fortunate to be able to give back to a region that gave me so much.”
Delegate Rasoul taught MBA management and accounting classes at the Roanoke Valley Campus. He said, “I consider teaching one of the most important chapters of my life. I loved teaching. We are all life-long students.” Delegate Rasoul added, “I really enjoyed showing students how various disciplines work together as well as all of the departments of a company. They are all interconnected; you have to understand that to be a leader in tomorrow’s workplace.”
Delegate Rasoul said that he became a politician because, “I have a passion for public policy. I am very fortunate to be doing something that I enjoy.” He also said that the voters will determine just how long he stays in politics. “I am so lucky to be a public servant in that capacity [of public policy]. I will be happy to serve if that is my calling.”
PHOTO-A-Delegate Sam Rasoul is a former MBA instructor of the Roanoke Valley Campus. He is pictured teaching one of his classes.
PHOTO-B-Tim Lawrence (l), executive director of SkillsUSA with Delegate Sam Rasoul (r).