National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Please Welcome Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju, New State CTE Director for Iowa

January 24th, 2014

We are pleased to announce Dr. Pradeep Kotamraju has accepted the position of Chief of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Division of Community Colleges, Iowa Department of Education.

He most recently served as the deputy director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the University of Louisville.  His extensive prior experience includes serving as the Minnesota CTE/Perkins system director and in various other positions within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security (now Employment and Economic Development).  In Minnesota, he provided leadership for the development of secondary and postsecondary Perkins consortia and grant activities supporting adult education career pathway development. 

Before entering the public sector, Dr. Kotamraju taught at several higher education institutions.  Pradeep is a prolific writer and researcher with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois and degrees from George Washington University and the University of Delhi.  Among other work, he has served as a senior consultant for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant evaluations, president of the Association for CTE Research, and on the National Council on Workforce Education Board.Pradeep_Kotamraju_72ppi

As chief of the CTE bureau, Pradeep will be responsible for the direction of statewide efforts related to secondary and postsecondary CTE and veterans’ education. This includes connecting research, policy, and practice to advance secondary CTE modernization and representing Iowa nationally as the state director for CTE.

When asked about his new role, Pradeep said “I am excited to become Iowa’s State CTE Director and join a team at the Iowa Department of Education that is already undertaking many wide-ranging projects involving secondary CTE, community colleges, adult education, and workforce development, all working together to rethink Iowa’s CTE programs, administration, policy, and accountability systems. The overarching goal of these endeavors is to ensure that all Iowans are able to access a fully vibrant 21st century CTE.”

Please welcome Pradeep, who can be reached at [email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Announcing the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

January 17th, 2014


ANNOUNCING the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

NASDCTEc is pleased to invite you to participate in our annual Spring Meeting, a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s Capital!

Get ready for exciting sessions for State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors, CTE leaders, and individuals who contribute to the CTE community at the national, state, and local levels. These sessions will equip you with the information and tools you need to be an effective leader in an ever-changing environment.

We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online and adding more detail and depth to the conversation.

  • Federal funding (i.e., updates on appropriations and budget)
  • View from the Hill on Perkins and other relevant legislation
  • Trends from NASDCTEc’s state Perkins Implementation Survey
  • Skill building for CTE leaders
  • Views from leading policy organizations on CTE and pending legislation
  • Initiatives in data and accountability
  • And much more!

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Noon Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where: Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Agenda DRAFT is online. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

Registration Information

Meals included in your registration fee include three continental breakfasts and two lunches.

Registration Rates and Dates:

  • NASDCTEc Member: $450 early bird/$550 main; Non-Member (General Registration) $625 early bird/$725 main

Early Bird Registration: January 17, 2014 – February 3, 2014; Main Registration: February 4, 2014 – online registration will close March 17, 2014


Hotel Information

Guest rooms have been reserved at the historic Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Avenue), Washington DC 20008. Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. You can make your hotel reservations today in one of two ways:

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW at our special group reservations link (preferred) or Guests can call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) 24 hours a day to make their reservations and request group name: NASDCTEc Spring Meeting 2014.

Please use one of these registration methods to be assured the special room rate of $224, plus applicable taxes. This rate is only available until March 7, 2014 or when our block fills – whichever comes first. So make your reservation today! At the time of your lodging reservation, you will be asked for a major credit card to hold your room. Reservations may be cancelled up until 3 days prior to arrival – by noon Eastern Time, or forfeit one night’s stay plus tax.

More about the Omni Shoreham

  • Hotel map and directions (includes various transportation options)
  • Guest room accommodations
  • Check in is 3 p.m./check out is Noon.
  • Parking: Valet parking including in/out privileges ($35 + 18% tax  per car daily); subject to increase at any time

Travel to hotel:

The least expensive way to get to the hotel is by metro. Save money by using Washington DC Metro’s Trip Planner to get to the hotel. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive. The Metro rail is just steps away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop about a 5 minute walk away.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Spring Meeting information page

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager



NASDCTEc Recognizes All Stars at Fall Meeting

October 25th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held a luncheon at its Fall meeting to honor the organization’s All-Star sponsors. NASDCTEc is fortunate to have a group of dedicated sponsor partners who provide critical and ongoing support to the organization and its work. The NASDCTEc All Stars include:

  • Certiport
  • Cisco
  • CORD
  • Kuder
  • Oracle Academy
  • Realityworks
  • Today’s Class

Representatives from eight All Stars attended the luncheon and received a certificate of appreciation, presented by NASDCTEc Vice President Scott Stump, and Region XI Representative Bernadette Howard.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Welcomes Government Relations Associate Steve Voytek

August 23rd, 2013

SteveNASDCTEc would like to welcome Steve Voytek, who recently joined our team as a Government Relations Associate. Steve will be promoting the organization’s policy priorities and legislative objectives for Career Technical Education by engaging policymakers and stakeholders at an important time for CTE legislation.

Steve began his career at the National Aquarium in Baltimore where he worked as a Governmental Affairs Assistant before moving on to the National Institute of Standards & Technology in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Most recently, Steve worked as a Research Associate for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) where he tracked legislation and programs of interest for the organization. During his time at NAWB he developed a keen interest in workforce development issues and focused particularly on the Workforce Investment Act.

A Maryland native, Steve completed his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Hiram College. After graduation he completed a transatlantic dual M.A. degree under the auspices of the Atlantis Program, jointly administered and funded by the U.S. Department of Education and European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture. Over the course of his studies Steve had the opportunity to spend over a year living abroad in both Poland and Estonia.

Steve’s unique educational background and work experiences have helped him develop an intimate understanding of the challenges facing education and the workforce in an ever more globalized labor market.  Through this lens Steve appreciates that Career Technical Education policy is a vital ingredient to developing a strong and sustainable workforce for the future.

In his spare time he enjoys books, film, and coaching youth wrestling. When asked what he is looking forward to most in his new position he responded, “I look forward to meeting all of our members and acting as a strong voice for their interests on the Hill.”

Please extend a warm welcome to Steve Voytek, who can be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Please Welcome New NASDCTEc Associate Executive Director Kate Blosveren Kreamer

April 30th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome new staff member, Kate Blosveren Kreamer, who serves as the Associate Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), leading policy and communications efforts to ensure all students have access to high-quality career technical education.

From 2006 to 2013, Kate worked at Achieve, beginning as a policy analyst and leaving the associate director of strategic initiatives, leading a range of policy, research, and communications projects to support states’ adoption and implementation of the college- and career-ready agenda.

Prior to her time at Achieve, Kate was a policy advisor at Third Way, where she acted as a policy liaison between the organization and its Corporate Leadership Committee, engaging on a very broad legislative agenda. Kate also spent a year as a research assistant at the Progressive Policy Institute, focusing exclusively on education policy issues.

Kate serves as the co-founder and President of Young Education Professionals-DC (YEP-DC), a nonpartisan organization, created by and for young professionals that connects tomorrow’s education leaders around the common goal of improving education through policy, research, and practice. Kate also helped co-found and acts as a strategic advisor to YEP National, the umbrella organization that supports the now eight YEP chapters across the country.

An Orange, Connecticut native, Kate received her bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University, and her master’s of public policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in 2006, with a concentration in Education, Family, and Social Policy.

In addition to serving as an organizational spokesperson, Kate’s other responsibilities include:

  • Supporting states’ adoption and implementation of the CCTC and the related policies/programs, through the development of relevant research, policy guidance and other tools/resources
  • Overseeing the organization’s communications strategy, including the expansion of the CTE: Learning that works for America® campaign

When asked for her goals in her position, Kate said she wants to help ensure CTE is a full partner and component of the broader college- and career-ready agenda currently underway in most states; to raise the visibility of CTE as the most effective strategy in graduating all students and preparing them for life after high school; to develop and maintain strong partnerships with key national and state-based organizations; and to help ensure even stronger support and engagement from business/industry around CTE.

Please extend a warm welcome to Kate. She can be reached at [email protected] or 301-588-9630.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Webinar on Area CTE Centers – Today at 3:00 pm ET

April 25th, 2013

Area CTE Centers operate in a variety of ways – from shared-time centers offering primarily technical training to full-time centers that provide students with both academic instruction and technical training – but all provide opportunities for students to receive relevant, rigorous CTE. And at a time when employers say that they are unable to find workers who have the right skills to fill job vacancies, area CTE centers provide a crucial link between the knowledge and skills that students learn and those demanded by local businesses.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss area CTE centers in their states and how they are making connections to the needs of business and industry and their communities.

The webinar will be held TODAY, Thursday, April 25th at 3:00 pm ET. Register here

Speakers include:

  • Steve Gratz, Ph.D., Director, Office of Career-Technical Education
    Ohio Department of Education
  • Harold Niehaus, Director of Instructional Development
    Miami Valley Career Technology Center, Clayton, OH
  • Paula Bowles, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
    Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Bill Kramer, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
    Canadian Valley Technology Center, El Reno, OK

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Please Welcome Todd Schwarz, State Director for Idaho

March 14th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome new State Director Dr. Todd Schwarz, Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education. The value of Career Technical Education was found early in his career when he found relevance and success at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). He first discovered the Drafting Technology Program, then found employment in the industry, and then returned to CSI to teach the program from which he’d graduated. As he continued to pursue his education part time, new opportunities arose and he entered into program coordination, department chairmanship, and was eventually promoted to Instructional Dean for technical programs at CSI. While working at CSI, Dr. Schwarz completed a Bachelor’s degree in Trade and Industrial Education from the University of Idaho, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University, a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho, and the Idaho PTE Leadership Institute.

ToddAbout the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education

The Division of Professional-Technical Education is responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult professional-technical programs that are delivered throughout all Idaho public school districts and to the six technical colleges at the College of Western Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and North Idaho College. Professional-technical education programs start at the 9th grade and provide the foundation for portable, stackable credentials that can be pursued after high school at the postsecondary level up to, and including, an Associate of Applied Science degree. Tech Prep provides an Advanced Learning Opportunity for high school students seeking postsecondary credit. PTE provides a valuable relevance and application to many traditional subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Division of Professional-Technical Education provides technical assistance to both teachers and administrators in school districts and the technical colleges. In addition, the Division provides resources and facilitates industry input in the development of statewide curricula to meet industry standards. The Division also works in collaboration with other agencies to address the changing needs of the workforce and supports this collaboration with apprenticeship and short term training through the Workforce Training Network (WTN).

In his new role as Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education, Dr. Schwarz continues to improve, advocate for, and promote Career Technical Education in Idaho.
Please join NASDCTEc in a warm welcome to Dr. Schwarz. He may be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Webinar Reminder: Register for CTE Trend Analysis: Governance and Funding Issues

February 15th, 2013

Every other year, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) conducts a survey of the membership to gauge trends in Career Technical Education (CTE) across the country. Based on analyses of this year’s survey results from 50 states and territories, and comparisons to surveys administered in 2008 and 2010, NASDCTEc has authored a series of synopsis papers that describe trends in four key areas: Career ClustersTM and Programs of Study, CTE Teacher/Faculty Shortages, Governance, and Funding. February’s webinar will focus on the final two synopsis papers: CTE Governance and CTE Funding.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm ET

Please join us as Kara Herbertson, NASDCTEc Research and Policy Manager, gives an overview of trends in CTE funding and governance. Rich Katt, CTE State Director of Nebraska, will describe how his state successfully garnered support for state CTE funding through social media and CTE student organizations.

Please note: this webinar is not intended to provide a legislative update. NASDCTEc will hold a separate legislative update webinar in March. Stay tuned for more details.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Please Welcome New Advocacy Manager David Beckett to the NASDCTEc Team

February 6th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to announce a new staff member, David Beckett, who will be filling the role of Advocacy Manager. David joins NASDCTEc with a wide range of experience in education and public policy, both in Europe and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Psychology, David worked for the Scottish Government’s Education Department, for New Educational Developments. David left the Scottish Government to work as the Youth & Education Officer at the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Headquarters for the 2007 parliamentary campaign, around which time he was selected to stand for election.

David was elected as a City Councilor in the 2007 elections for the City Center Ward of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. He was appointed as the Vice Chair of the Education, Children & Families Committee, which oversaw an annual budget of around $700m and was responsible for a school district of 47,000 pupils, social work for those aged under 18, and adult education. Other Committees David served on include Pensions & Trusts; Health, Social Care & Housing and Audit, and he worked as a Senior Councilor to balance the city budget of $2 billion for 500,000 people.

In 2011, David moved to Massachusetts to study Education Policy & Management at Harvard University. The courses David took at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Kennedy School of Government included Education Finance and Budgeting, Managing and Running Political Campaigns, Microeconomics, Politics & Education Policy in the United States, State & Local Public Finance and Statistics. David also worked for Secretary Paul Reville in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education and for Representative Peisch, the Joint Chair of the Massachusetts Education Committee.

After graduating from Harvard, David moved to Washington, DC as an Education Pioneers Fellow where he worked on matters including charter school metrics, labor-management relations & state education reform policies. After the fellowship, David joined Representative Jim Moran’s campaign in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District where he worked as a coordinated campaign representative, before joining NASDCTEc.

When asked for his goals in his new position, David said “I would like to represent our members on the Hill and serve as their voice, promoting Career Technical Education.” He also shared “I would like to let our members know that I am available to assist with policy-related issues, and am looking forward to meeting everyone at our upcoming Spring Meeting.”

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green said “We are excited to have David to serve as our new Advocacy Manager. His experience and passion for education and workforce policy are a great addition to our team as we begin the important work of reauthorizing Perkins and protecting the federal investment in CTE during these challenging fiscal times.”

Please extend a warm welcome to Mr. Beckett, who can be reached at [email protected] or by phone 301-588-9630.

Learn MORE about the 2013 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

CTE Month: National CTE Leaders Celebrate CTE Month

February 4th, 2013

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and career and technical education (CTE) professionals across the country will celebrate CTE Month™ in February, raising the public’s awareness of the value of CTE programs for students, schools, communities, business and industry and the economic well-being of our nation. CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States.

During the month of February, CTE programs and CTSOs across the country host a variety of events showcasing their programs and students’ successes to their community, policymakers and business leaders. This year’s theme is “Career and Technical Education Works!” to emphasize that CTE works for students, business and industry and the economy. CTE programs can be found at the secondary and postsecondary levels and prepares students to be college-and career-ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills and technical, job-specific skills. High school students involved in CTE are more engaged, perform better and graduate at higher rates. The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18 percent, compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent.

As the American economy recovers, the role of CTE is critically important. The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States, with recent data citing 550,000 jobs open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 246,000 jobs open in manufacturing. Additionally, middle-skill jobs, or jobs that require education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor degree, are a significant part of the economy. Of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2013, 30 percent will require some college or a two-year associate degree.

As part of the CTE Month activities, ACTE is hosting a Social Media Advocacy Week, February 11-15. CTE professionals and students from across the country will bring their stories and voices to social media platforms to illustrate the positive impacts of CTE programs.

ACTE provides free promotional resources for CTE professionals wishing to participate in CTE Month, including student-made PSA videos, promotional posters that can be downloaded, a calendar of nationwide activities during the month and more. For more information on CTE Month and the activities ACTE, NASDCTEc and the CTSOs are hosting, please visit

For more information about CTSO’s, NASDCTEc and ACTE, please visit:

Business Professionals of America:
DECA Inc.:
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America:
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda:
Future Educators Association:
Health Occupations Students of America:
The National FFA:
Technology Student Association:
National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium:
Association for Career and Technical Education: