- The mood at the ACTE (Association of Career and Technical Education) Policy and Planning Seminar in Washington, D.C. from March 9-11 was hopeful but not assured. Speaker after speaker said that career and technical education’s (CTE) moment is now. Some speakers said that to take advantage of CTE’s opportunities, we need to move on increasing CTE funding in the next two years. In light of the recession and the new administration, policymakers understand that America needs a skilled work force, that it needs to retrain its existing work force, and that education to prepare students for further education and to keep them from dropping out of school is what CTE is all about. Staffers from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee talked about meeting these needs. So, too, did Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Secretary Duncan spoke of the administration’s dedication to finding the best practices for stopping dropouts and also sending students on to higher education. The Secretary frequently referenced technical and community colleges during his remarks. I believe CTE has his ear, but there’s much more talking to do.
- I spoke on March 13 during the HVACR and Plumbing Instructor Workshop in Lansdowne, Virginia. Several national staffers were also there during the conference in the trade show booth. There were 325 instructors in attendance from across the country.
- Staff attended the American Technical Education Association Conference in Chattanooga, Tenneessee to talk about SkillsUSA’s service learning model and the Work Force Ready System. Staff reported considerable interest in both SkillsUSA and the assessments.
- SkillsUSA University seminars for national conference are up by 15. We’re now at 82 seminars.
- TECHSPO booth reservations are up to 127.
- We conducted our first Web conference with the SkillsUSA WorldTeam on March 19. With me on the call were Peter Carey, our official delegate, and Mark Claypool, our team leader. It was a great meeting. We covered a lot of information regarding all aspects of the students’ responsibilities and got an update on where they are with training and preparation for the 2009 WorldSkills Competition in Calgary. They asked many questions, were very enthusiastic and appear to be a very committed group of young people. To date, we have selected 12 members and have six more to go. We are working to get their bios and photos posted on the WorldTeam Web site. To view them and to learn more about the Calgary event, please visit this link.
Tags: ACTE, ATEA, Lowe's, SkillsUSA University, TECHSPO, WorldTeam