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WLTI was a Great Washington Experience

October 15th, 2011

The Washington Leadership Training Institute was truly a first this year bringing together the students, advisors and the board of directors. I heard from many of the students and teachers how much they enjoyed the board, and I could tell by just looking that the board was having a good time too. The conference evaluations have been tabulated and on a scale of one to five (with five being the highest), the students gave the conference a 4.49 percent and advisors gave it a 4.65 percent. Comments from students included: “For my first time at WLTI, I feel very honored to have been here, meeting new people, learning new things and having the best time of my life” and, “Arlington and Pentagon, very moving.”

In all, we had 25 states and Puerto Rico, 174 students and 93 advisors and state directors. Most of the participants this year were attending for the first time – that’s great to see – and 184 of the participants earned their national Statesman Awards.

We’re still going through the state delegation Capitol Hill visit reports. We had many more this year because turning in a report was required to earn the Statesman Award. We also received a report from Jamie Baxter of ACTE and Nancy Conneely of the state CTE directors. They wrote saying that they had just visited the education legislative aide in Representative Joe Wilson’s office (R-SC) and how impressed she was. They wrote “she said she has never been more impressed with a group of students than she was with SkillsUSA. She said that the group was very professional and talked about Perkins funding. She went on to say “What they are learning is working.”

Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI)

October 1st, 2011

WLTIIt’s over and it went off without a hitch. There were 269 registrants from 25 states and Puerto Rico this year. We were particularly pleased that some of the states who sent delegations this year were new, or haven’t been with us for some time. That includes the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia.

There were also some great guest speakers including our Saturday night speakers John Gallina and Dale Beatty, co-founders of Purple Heart Homes (and introduced to us by Cindy Sutton of The Social Eyes LLC), and on Monday Jennifer McNelly of the Manufacturing Institute. For the advisors sessions there were presentations made by Steve DeWitt and Jamie Baxter of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Nancy Conneely and Erin Uy of the National Association of State Directors consortium (NASDCTEc).

We also held the SkillsUSA board of directors meeting at the same time and both the board and the WLTI participants visited Congress in Washington, D.C. to convey the message that CTE is needed and funding is extremely important.


September 1st, 2011
  • Twenty-five states have registered for the Washington Leadership Training Institute. We’re working to secure speakers for the advisors’ track. I believe this will be another substantive series of sessions.
  • Alumni membership is now at 26,112 and the alumni now have a new page on the SkillsUSA website for archiving their series of professional development webinars.
  • At the Louisville conference, a new training tool kit for state student officers was introduced that was very well received. This kit comes in a large duffle bag packed full of tools to help officers conduct state and local workshops on the roles of SkillsUSA leaders and implementation of our Program of Work. The kit also includes props that will be purchased by state officer teams at their local Lowe’s Store. Lowe’s sponsored the development of this exciting new training tool.
  • The SkillsUSA, Inc. board of directors will be meeting on September 19 at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center during the Washington Leadership Training Institute. On September 20, the board will be going to Capitol Hill with our student leaders for Congressional visits. This will be an excellent opportunity for our students, in tandem with our governing body, to tell the SkillsUSA story to policymakers.
  • We are finalizing plans for the fall meeting of the Youth Development Foundation hosted by Air Products in Bethlehem, Pa. September 14-15. Special thanks to Laurie Gostley-Hackett who will be our host. We have 17 attendees registered and look forward to the meeting.

Washington Leadership Training Institute, September 17-21, 2011 Reminder

August 14th, 2011

The Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), a five-day advanced leadership program for students and advisors, will be held September 17-21at the Hyatt Dulles near the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center and Washington, D.C. Students who are interested must apply and be accepted through their respective state director’s office and have state approval prior to registering. Student sessions focus on how an individual can affect change: The impact of the individual as a leader, citizen and employee, learning advocacy skills and strategies, and participation in congressional visits “on the Hill” are the culminating activities of WLTI.

Advisors will have a separate training track centered on becoming an advocate for career and technical education. The conference registration site (also used for NLSC) will be used to register for this year’s WLTI.

Other forms related to the conference (i.e. application, agenda, pre-WLTI assignments and Statesman Award requirements) have been updated and are on the website at The sample congressional appointment letter has been added to the website and a hard copy is enclosed with this Update for state association directors. Questions about the application process can be directed to Deborah Tripp at 1-800-321-8422, Ext. 637.

*NOTE: Hotel has changed from last year!

Washington Leadership Training Institute Congressional Appointments

July 31st, 2011

On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, the students and advisors attending WLTI will have time to go to Capitol Hill and visit with their Senators and Representatives between 10:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (The bus leaves at 3 p.m.) Appointments need to be set up ahead of time. A sample letter is available here.

We suggest delegations first fax the appointment request letter and follow it up with a phone call. Letters sent by mail may take a month to reach Congressional offices because of security systems. But, if you do send a letter, please hand-write or type the address – don’t use a label. The label will be blackened because all Congressional mail goes through an irradiation process. And, don’t rely on an email invitation. Congress is receiving a massive amount of emails right now, so there is a good chance it could be overlooked, depending upon the office.

If you have questions or need information about how to contact your members of Congress, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or by email at

2011 Washington Leadership Training Institute

June 1st, 2011

The 2011 WLTI will be held on September 17-21 at the Hyatt Dulles. State association directors, please read the following to help you with registration.

Application and Registration Process
The national office has outlined steps for this year’s WLTI registration process. Students who are interested in attending MUST apply to their state office, be accepted by their state office and meet state approval prior to being registered. Advisors and other participants do not need to apply through their state office and can follow the registration steps below. WLTI application, registration and liability/medical forms are available online.

Please contact the national office at 1-800-321-8422 if you wish to have WLTI forms mailed/faxed to you, ask for Susan Trent. Questions about the application process can be directed to Deborah Tripp at 1-800-321-8422, ext. 637 or

WLTI General Directions:
All student applications and registrations will be conducted through their respective state association offices. Applications are due to their state office by August 10, 2011. Please note: students MUST apply and be accepted by their state associations prior to registration. All applications and registration forms can be downloaded and printed from our website at or obtained from the state director.

For state association directors who will be sending information to your advisors and students, following are the steps for student and advisor applications.

Steps for Student Application to their State Office:

  1. Students need to obtain an application form by: (a) downloading from the SkillsUSA website, (b) from their state director, or (c) calling the national office to have one faxed, call 1-800-321-8422, ask for Susan Trent.
  2. Applications must be typed, neat, complete and free of errors. Complete and send to their state office.
  3. Deadline for applications to be sent to their state office is August 10, 2011.
  4. The state association director must/will notify students whether they are accepted or not. If accepted, students can then fill out their registration forms for the conference and return them to the state director who will submit the registrations to the national office.

Steps for Student Registration Through Their State Office:

  1. Obtain a registration form, by (a) downloading from our website, (b) from the state director, or (c) call the national office to have one faxed. Call 1-800-332-8422 and ask for Susan Trent with questions.
  2. Complete the registration form AND medical release information. Submit to the students’ state association director with payment by August 10, 2011. The deadline for the state director to register a student is August 26, 2011.
  3. Once the national office receives the registration, the student will receive a confirmation letter.
  4. Complete the pre-conference assignment (found on the website) and the student should take it to WLTI. Students can obtain the pre-conference assignment form by (a) downloading it from our website, (b) from their state director, or (c) by calling the national office to have one faxed. Call 1-800-321-8422, ext. 637 and ask for Deborah Tripp.

Steps for Advisor Registration:

  1. Obtain a registration form by (a) downloading from our website, (b) from the state director, or (c) by calling the national office to have one faxed. Call 1-800-332-8422 and ask for Susan Trent.
  2. Complete the registration form AND medical release information. Submit to their state association director with payment by August 10, 2011. The deadline for the state director to register the advisor is August 26, 2011.

Once the national office receives the advisor registration, the advisor will receive a confirmation letter, tentative agenda and pre-conference information.

Steps for the State Director to Register Participants:

  1. Obtain registration forms either from our website or request a set be mailed to you, so that you may provide forms when requests are made.
  2. Approve/disapprove student applications. Notify students you approve and ask each to complete the registration forms AND medical release information and send to you by August 26, 2011.
  3. Please note: we are asking you to encourage all members to apply and attend WLTI, not just state officers. The experience is designed to be a capstone event for personal leadership development.
  4. Submit all registration/medical forms with payment to Susan Trent, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176-5494. Susan can be reached at 1-800-321-8422.
  5. All registration forms must be received in the national office no later than August 26, 2011.

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