- Membership continues to run ahead of last year at 241,522. That’s 1,130 more than this date last year. Congratulations to the following state associations for exceeding last year’s overall membership. They are California, Clay Mitchell; Connecticut, Heidi Balch; Massachusetts, Karen Ward; New Jersey, Pete Carey; Pennsylvania, Jeri Widdowson; Rhode Island, Josh Klemp; and, Virginia – David Rathbone. Professional membership and alumni membership counts. Individuals such as industry partners and other friends not affiliated with a local chapter can join too online at the following link: www.skills-register.org/rpts/JoinAsProfessional.aspx.
- On January 18th, I met with the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) in Reston, Va. The highlight was to welcome a new representative from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), Robin Utz. Robin is the chief of the College and Career Transitions Branch at OVAE and formerly served as assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessment Services team at the Kansas State Department of Education. She’s very supportive of student organizations, having been both an FFA and FCLA advisor herself, and she gets the “big thumbs up” from Ann Wick, our Kansas state association director. In other news, a majority of the organizations reported that they’re having good membership numbers and conference attendance. The Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium talked about the common core education standards developed by the National Governors Association and a roll out of curriculum addressing the standards during the Career Cluster Institute in June.
- We held a staff WorldSkills meeting on January 13 to plan SkillsUSA WorldTeam participation in Leipzig, Germany in 2013. A new management team has been identified and we have a lot of work to do for team selection, trials, training and fundraising. WorldSkills International has been notified of our new structure.
- I recently returned from Nevada where I assisted with strategic planning with the SkillsUSA Nevada board of directors and attended the State Directors’ Association Executive Committee meeting. More on that next time.
The National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSOs) met at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education in Washington, D.C. on the 21st. The early part of the meeting was a proposal by the National Research Center for CTE to conduct additional research on the CTSOs. Specifically, the research would be modeled on the math study done by the center a few years ago to demonstrate the value of CTE in teaching mathematics. This would focus on CTSOs as an intervention model and would include professional development for advisors as the math study did.
In our round table discussion, we heard that ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of CTE consortium (NASDCTEc) believe that Congress will go ahead with level funding for CTE next year. NASDCTEc is pushing to have CTE written into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act particularly in light of career clusters. And, speaking of career clusters, SkillsUSA also received congratulations for the great job SkillsUSA Kansas State Association Director Ann Wick did showing how CTSOs fit into the career cluster model during the NASDCTEc Career Clusters Institute in Denver last June. Representatives of ACTE and NASDCTEc were pleased with the opportunity to present during the Call to Action session at conference.