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National Assessment Meeting at the U.S. Department of Education

September 30th, 2011

On September 12 and 13, I met in Washington, D.C. with the Advisory Committee for the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education (NACTE). The committee is charged with research and reporting on the impact of Perkins IV legislation. The NACTE Final Report to Congress will be released in a few weeks. I wrote a significant portion on the impact of education reform on CTE and was also responsible for including language in the report about employability skills in reform efforts through career and technical student organizations.

Highlights

September 30th, 2011
  • Washington appointments for SkillsUSA WorldTeam are coming right along. We now have a confirmed appointment and location for a briefing on the House side hosted by the CTE Caucus. Both Representatives and Senators will be invited to the briefing. It also appears we’re set to meet with staff from the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the afternoon. Invitations have also been extended to The White House and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. We’re hopeful of team coverage in the AOL/Huffington Post in addition to continuing coverage in PARADE. The reporter working on the Huffington Post story said her editor saw the PARADE article and said: “Here’s the way to put a face on what we’re covering. Let’s do profiles of these students.”
  • On September 7, SkillsUSA West Virginia Director Paul Lovett and I visited my alma mater Mercer County Technical Education Center. We spoke to 24 teachers and administrators, did some training and delivered some SkillsUSA materials. The result? Mercer County Tech is going to be a 100 percent school with 600 members.
  • On September 16, I joined Rosanne White and Sandy Honour of Technology Student Association in Baltimore for a meeting with Dr. Vince Bertram, the new CEO of Project Lead the Way. It was our first opportunity to do an orientation on the two organizations for Dr. Bertram and to discuss a relaunch of the Engineering Alliance. Dr. Bertram was extremely interested, and we’ll follow up with a proposal.
  • And, on September 22, I presented to the U.S. Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship near Baltimore, Md. They wanted me to speak about SkillsUSA because they believe there are many areas in which we can be cooperating. I was accompanied by Caleb Houston our parliamentarian from Ohio. The opportunity was created in large part by our long-time friend Bob Baird of the Independent Electrical Contractors, along with Steve Mandes of National Institute for Metalworking Skills and Greg Chambers of Oberg Industries, Inc.

ACTE Video PSA Contest

September 30th, 2011

Foster Future Filmmakers: Encourage your CTE students to submit to ACTE’s video PSA contest. The winning student or team will receive $750, and the second-place student or team will receive $250. Videos should be 29 seconds in length, promote CTE and include the 2012 CTE Month¬†logo.

PSAs must be uploaded by October 17, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. P.S.T. A broadcast-quality hard copy on DVD and required forms must be mailed to ACTE with a postmark date of October 17, 2011. Get all the rules and details at www.acteonline.org/psacontest.aspx. We look forward to viewing and sharing these examples of your students’ creativity!

The President with the Presidents

September 29th, 2011

I want to share this photo from from our experience at the NBC News Education Nation Summit which was held Sunday, Sept. 25 through Tuesday, Sept. 27.

President Clinton was part of the special closing event where he shared his observations about the importance of education for America’s future.

President Clinton with CTSO presidents

Photo courtesy of NBC News.

It was an amazing experience.

CTE and Air Products on CBS Evening News

September 28th, 2011

NOTE: We were notified just before this was supposed to air that the piece was pulled at the last minute. CBS is planning to run it at some future date, but at this point we don’t know when that will be. When we know, we’ll post it here.

I’ve received word from Air Products that last Friday a correspondent and camera crew from CBS Evening News arrived at Air Products to talk ¬†with John McGlade our SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year.

The topic was the role of career and technical education in preparing students to enter the world of work. Air Products believes John was selected for the interview because of the company’s commitment to SkillsUSA. Air Products said: “John was glad to participate because it was another chance for him to share his passion and support for CTE and SkillsUSA.”

Following the interview in John’s office, the crew went to one of Air Products’ facilities and then to Lehigh Career and Technical Institute for an interview with director Clyde Hornberger.

Air Products was told a two- to four-minute segment will likely run on Wednesday, September 28. That could change depending on the news of the day, but I wanted to alert you to the possibility that SkillsUSA will be referenced on the evening news.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for a good story on career and technical education.

Education Nation

September 26th, 2011

Chance and Victoria

A quick update from NYC. Our two national student presidents, Victoria Holbert and Chance Litwin, are representing us well. Starting yesterday afternoon, we participated in the premiere of a new film “American Teacher” and a discussion that followed, moderated by Al Roker and Jenna Bush.

Victoria Holbert speaks to NBC Philadelphia

Victoria Holbert speaks to NBC Philadelphia

The agenda is packed with sessions that engage high level discussions on the American Education system. This morning alone, speakers have included Tom Brokaw, Warren Buffet, Melinda Gates, Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Arne Duncan, Ann Curry, Sal Khan and LeBron James.

Chance and Victoria

Right now, I’m in a session on the changing face of education (sponsored by State Farm) and the students are in a session by Detroit Public Schools. There is much much more slated today and tomorrow. The Summit is being streamed online at EducationNation.com and broadcast on MSNBC and CNBC with special spots each morning on NBC Today.

Chance and Victoria

National Presidents Chance Litwin and Victoria Holbert at the Top of the Rock

We took advantage of the only free time yesterday before the Summit kicked off and I took the students to the Top of the Rock for a great city view, to a NYC Pizzeria for lunch, to the center of Times Square and for a deli sandwich and New York cheesecake for dinner.

Visit with Lowe’s in North Carolina

September 15th, 2011

We had a great meeting with Kelly Persons, Shannon Delp, Greg Palese and Troy Dally at Lowe’s on August 24. In addition to a discussion of how things went at this year’s national conference and initiatives for next year, we also had an extensive discussion of how to involve more vendor partners through the Championships, TECHSPO and “lunch and learn” sessions hosted by partners. Along those lines, Electrolux had four corporate representatives at a breakfast meeting with us. Kelly Persons encouraged their greater involvement in the Championships and to join the YDF. There were also outstanding presentations by two of our new student national officers: Victoria Holbert, high school division president and Diego Carvallo, high school division Region II vice president. There was a great dialogue session among the students and the Electrolux executives, and the students provided input throughout the meetings.

Advisor Training in Caroline County, Va.

September 15th, 2011

On August 25, I was back doing teacher training at the school level again. It brought back great memories of my days as a state association director. The Education, Training and Assessments Department was already totally committed and on the road doing other training, so staff and I conducted training sessions for a group of 14 high school and middle school teachers, including two administrators at Caroline High School in Va. We covered topics from the Chapter Management Institute including the program of work and officer elections. But there were new things too, such as CareerSafe, Lowe’s grants and all the new items we have online and available for members this year, such as “Five Simple Steps to Start a SkillsUSA Chapter.” SkillsUSA never stands still.

Highlights

September 15th, 2011
  • The SkillsUSA WorldTeam received coverage in the Labor Day weekend edition of PARADE magazine. And, there was much more extensive coverage online, including the team members’ biographies. Here is the link: www.parade.com/what-people-earn/americas-skilled-workers/featured/110904-at-last-good-news-on-jobs.html. PARADE appears in more than 600 Sunday edition newspapers. PARADE is the largest circulation magazine in the country with 70 million readers of the print edition and 40 million online. More coverage in PARADE online has been promised this month.
  • Board member Joe Pietrantonio stopped by the National Leadership Center on Wednesday, August 31. Joe met informally with all of the staff members who were in the office and then sat down with staff to discuss Air Products’ support for the furtherance of the Champion of the Year Dinner. Additionally, SkillsUSA is fortunate to have the very personal support of John McGlade in helping us build this program.
  • While attending the state association director conference in Louisville, I drafted a letter to President Obama asking him to meet with SkillsUSA WorldTeam when it is in DC on September 30. That letter was sent to The White House scheduling office on September 1. We also sent them a notice with the PARADE magazine article link. If all goes according to plan, the team will begin its day in Washington at the offices of The Manufacturing Institute hosted by YDF member Emily DeRocco, meet with members of the CTE Caucus, visit with the President and visit members of Congress.

Lowe’s Grant Webinars

September 14th, 2011

SkillsUSA is pleased to announce a continuing partnership with Lowe’s for 2012. As part of their overall grant to SkillsUSA, Lowe’s will be awarding grants to local chapters of up to $25,000 each for Community Improvement and Community Rebuilding Grants to be implemented in 2012. New this year, in support of chapters applying for grants, a series of webinars will be held to help chapters through the grant application process.

Get the details here: www.skillsusa.org/educators/loweswebinars.shtml


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