After months of planning and discussion – SkillsUSA and TSA (Technology Student Association) will be jointly establishing a program called the Engineering Alliance to Serve Project Lead The Way (PLTW) beginning this coming school year. We spoke of our decision while we were visiting with other members of the NCC-CTSO (National Coordinating Council of the Career and Technical Student Organizations) including representatives from the U.S. Department of Education. We had a very enthusiastic reaction from everyone attending the meeting and SkillsUSA and TSA look forward to serving teachers and students in pre-engineering programs in the 3,000 (and expanding number of) high schools and middle schools with PLTW. The program will provide leadership activity for local level PLTW integration and will encourage membership in SkillsUSA and TSA.
In other news from the NCC-CTSO, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Greg Cummings told us that President Obama is committed to pathways that lead students to prosperity and, in turn, will lead the nation to prosperity. He believes SkillsUSA and the other CTSOs do just that. He also said the areas the student organizations represent are areas of in-demand jobs, and he’s impressed by what the CTSOs do to give students a voice and power as well as the ability to lead. To top off the great comments in support of what we do, Deputy Assistant Secretary Cummings planned to come to Kansas City, but after looking at his schedule, he declined. He is making sure someone from the U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary’s Office will be with us, however. That’s exciting!
The CTSOs also compared notes on what’s happening with funding and support in the states. As many as six states report they’re having issues on funding for travel or continuing state-level activities. The CTSOs will be working together to overcome these issues. The up side is that nearly all of the CTSOs had increases in both membership and state conference attendance.
Check out the press release: www.skillsusa.org/about/engineeringalliance.shtml
Here is a Q&A about the Alliance: www.skillsusa.org/about/allianceqa.shtml