September 12th, 2013
Since 2010, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act funding has been cut by more than $140 million and because of sequestration, Perkins will lose an additional $58 million for the 2013-14 school year. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a funding bill that restores recent cuts made to Perkins by sequestration and provides funding at the FY 2012 level. As of late August, the House had not released its appropriations bill for education and workforce development programs.
SkillsUSA, in cooperation with the Association for Career and Technical Education, asks that our constituents write to their Members of Congress to ask them to increase funding for CTE – back to the FY2010 level.
An alert and message has been posted on the SkillsUSA CapWiz site. To send a letter to your Senators and to your Representative, go to: http://capwiz.com/skillsusa/home/. Enter your zip code and the rest is self-explanatory. Please spread the word and take a few minutes to write to your Members of Congress and help CTE regain the Perkins funding it needs.
February 7th, 2013
It’s February, so it’s CTE Month once again, a time for all ten of the career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) and related professional associations to talk about the value of career and technical education.
SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 10-16. SkillsUSA Week is a fantastic way to highlight all the great things your state association and chapters are doing. We have a lot of great resources on our website to help you plan activities for the week. Be sure and visit www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml for tools to celebrate and publicize career and technical education. ACTE also has many resources to help you celebrate CTE Month at: www.acteonline.org.
When President Obama visited the campus of Northern Virginia Community College in June of 2011, he highlighted the importance of CTE for our country, and described it as the backbone of our nation.
He said, “I see a United States where this nation is able to out-compete every country on Earth, where we continue to be the world’s engine for innovation and discovery. I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States, and continue a important and honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value, not just shuffling paper. That’s part of what has built the American Dream.”
That’s what we represent and what we stand for. What are you going to do for SkillsUSA Week?
January 15th, 2013
Registration is open for the 2013 ACTE National Policy Seminar. This year, the CTE community will “climb the Hill” in March during the 2013 ACTE National Policy Seminar. The focus of the conference will center on how to overcome key obstacles, such as funding battles, and working with both sides of the aisle in today’s partisan environment to create successful CTE policy. For more information, go to www.acteonline.org.
December 28th, 2012
SkillsUSA National Officers Craig Swanson, Brian Bradley and Kaila O’Farrell in SkillsUSA’s booth at ACTE along with SkillsUSA Executive Director Timothy W. Lawrence
From November 27 through December 1, I participated in the annual Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) conference in Atlanta. I was joined by staff members Heidi Walsh and Niki Clausen and national officers Brian Bradley (Ga.), Craig Swandon (Ga.) and Kaila O’Farrell (Mass.). The students did an outstanding job speaking to various stakeholder meetings and networking with attendees in our exhibit booth. SkillsUSA conducted six workshops and had good attendance at all of them. Workshops on chapter management, assessments and leadership were conducted by Niki, Heidi and me. A big thank you goes to Karen Ward, SkillsUSA Massachusetts state association director, for conducting workshops on Skill Connect Assessments and leadership development, and to Lana Ford for conducting an additional assessment workshop.
Board member Jeff Johnson, ACTE vice president, did a great job leading the trade and industrial division meetings and policy and planning sessions. It was also a great time to network with existing partners from education and industry. Greg Rintala, YDF member, attended and helped sponsor the conference, and I had good meetings with more than 12 partner companies and at least six more with prospective partners. It’s always important for SkillsUSA to have a strong presence at this annual event of CTE teachers, administrators and business partners.
September 14th, 2012
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has launched a new student contest for CTE Month- the CTE Month Promotional Poster Contest. It is seeking student’s best and most creative poster designs promoting CTE Month. The contest is open to all CTE students, secondary and postsecondary, and ACTE will accept submissions until October 19. After that six finalists will be selected and their entries will be posted on ACTE’s Facebook page. Anyone can then vote for his/her favorite for one week. At week’s end, whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winning poster design.
ACTE is hoping to generate more attention for CTE Month. The winning posters can be used by CTE teachers, CTSO advisors and other CTE Month celebrants to promote CTE Month and social media advocacy week—being held February 11-15. Winners from each category will receive a prize pack including a copy of the Adobe CS6 Suite.
Here is the link to the contest rules on ACTE’s web page: www.acteonline.org/ctemonth.aspx#Challenge
January 13th, 2012
Stand with ACTE and your CTE colleagues from around the nation to help Washington understand that CTE works! Register to attend the ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS), March 5-7, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. A special student rate is available and students are welcome to join. CTE faces many challenges during the coming year, and during the 2012 NPS, you will have the opportunity to connect with legislators who need to see us, understand us—and remember us! At this year’s National Policy Seminar, there is something for everyone:
- Strengthen your knowledge of federal policies affecting CTE.
- Learn more about how national assessments and the career-readiness conversation will affect your students.
- Explore overarching issues affecting federal spending for education and workforce development.
- Preview the next reauthorization of the Perkins Act and begin planning ahead.
- Gain new advocacy skills to help you effectively promote your programs.
Check out the tentative agenda for more details and visit: www.acteonline.org/nps.aspx for the latest updates.
December 15th, 2011
SkillsUSA had a productive ACTE (Association for Career and Technical Education) Conference in St. Louis, November 17-19. We had three national officers with us in the trade show booth – C.J. DeHart, Veronica Senkowski and Jeremy Ballentine – and each did a sensational job of visiting with people who stopped by. Actually, they were pulling people in to visit. The booth was always busy, and according to staff, the handout materials “disappeared.”
SkillsUSA conducted three presentations during the conference. SkillsUSA staff spoke on how to energize a chapter. Chip Harris from Tennessee State University did a workshop that was an introduction to the SkillsUSA Program of Work, and I did a well-attended presentation on the Skill Connect Assessments. We were pleased that the assessments were featured in an article on credentialing in the November/December issue of ACTE’s Techniques magazine. That probably helped build attendance. I also received some great reactions from teachers who are already using the assessments, and those were nice to hear.