Dr. David R. Woolstenhulme has been selected by the Utah College of Applied Technology Board of Trustees, with full support from the Governor and Senate as Utah’s first Commissioner of Technical Education. This new position replaces the President of the Utah College of Applied Technology and allows Woolstenhulme to advocate on behalf of tech colleges at the legislative level.

Woolstenhulme is from Oakley, Utah, and grew up on a cattle ranch. He has learned how to work hard and get his hands dirty. After completing his bachelor’s degree in education from Utah State University, he coached high school football and basketball for four years. He loved that part of his career as he was able to work with kids and make a difference in their lives. After obtaining his master’s degree in human resource management from Utah State University, he earned a Doctorate of Technical Education from the University of Wyoming. From there he was employed at Utah State University and took on several roles, from student services to administration. He also has firsthand experience in the technical education system as he served as the president of the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College.

Woolstenhulme will be the commissioner over eight regional applied technology colleges (ATCS) that support over 35,000 students throughout Utah. The ATCs are Bridgerland, Davis, Dixie, Mountainland, Ogden/Weber, Southwest, Tooele and Uintah Basin. He is a strong advocate of technical education and stated, “Once we provide the education for individuals, it effects generation after generation of individuals. It is so rewarding to be a part of that process.”

He knows that one of the biggest needs is funding. Recently while visiting one of the tech colleges he stated, “We need more equipment, more facilities, we need more possibilities to be able to educate our students. I promise you that I will work tirelessly to be able to make sure that we can provide all the funding we possibly can.”

Woolstenhulme hopes to improve outreach of tech colleges. Prospective students and parents need to understand the value of technical education. The tech colleges are an asset to underemployed adults. We can support businesses in the community by training students to supply the need for skilled workers here in Northern Utah.