- We held a National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) meeting in Washington on March 23 with transition staff at the U.S. Department of Education. It’s great to have the input. It was also good to hear that most of the other CTSOs are experiencing growth. As SkillsUSA has done, however, they are looking for ways to tighten their budgets. Also on the shared information front: those CTSOs that accept national conference pre-registration reported that their registrations are up slightly.
- The first eight Skill Connect Assessments were available for on March 16. After 2-3 business days on the market and a spring break in between, SkillsUSA sold more than 850 assessments and the orders continue to arrive. The most popular assessments thus far (not necessarily in order) are Employability, Welding, Cosmetology, Computer Maintenance Technology and Advertising Design.
- Staff held a National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) countdown meeting last Monday. It looks as though everything is on track. SkillsUSA University has even more sessions than last year. It’s logging in at 83 seminars and workshops. Staff is working with the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association (KCCVA) to arrange assignments in light of staff reductions at KCCVA.
- In state conference news, I attended the Maryland state conference in Baltimore County with Chuck Wallace March 21. It was Maryland’s largest conference ever. I was pleased to be the award ceremony speaker and to shake hands with all of the winners. On March 26 and 27, I spoke at the opening ceremony and the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Texas College/Postsecondary conference in San Antonio. Stacy Scott ran a great conference at St. Phillips Community College in the Alamo Community College District. The conference was well attended, and there was good sponsor support including the Army, Air Products and Snap-on.
- In the news, staff reports that in comparing the first three months of news coverage from January 1, 2008 through March of 2009, our top three categories are state and local competitions, local coverage and trade sponsor related coverage. Local coverage (using our VOCUS system) is up 62 percent; state and local competition coverage is up 77 percent, and trade and sponsor related coverage is up 93 percent. A lot of coverage picked up in the last category is from the racing-related promotion.
- In news on advocacy, between March 27 and March 30, we asked our active advisors to contact their Members of Congress to ask them to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting CTE funding. We know 95 people wrote to Congress, and that doesn’t count the number who called.
- Finally, I just want you all to know that I ran (and survived) a 10K race with my daughters in Richmond on March 28. There were 33,000 people in the race, and I was in the middle somewhere, so, I just had to keep moving.
Tags: advocacy, CTSOs, Government Relations, NLSC, State Conferences, Work Force Ready System