Archive for March, 2013

Legislative Update: New Sequester Cut to FY13; President’s Budget for FY14; Senate Passes FY14 Budget Proposal

Friday, March 29th, 2013

New Sequester Cut to FY13

We reported last week that the Senate and House approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding for federal programs through the remainder of FY 13. Earlier this week, President Obama signed the CR into law. Since our last report, both the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have analyzed the CR to determine whether or not the enacted legislation has exceeded the budget caps. While the CBO predicts the budget caps will not be exceeded in FY13 under the CR, the OMB predicts that the budget caps will be exceeded. As the OMB has sole authority on this matter, they are requiring an additional 0.2 percent cut to non defense discretionary (NDD) spending to ensure the budget caps are not exceeded. The expected 5 percent sequestration cuts will then be made.

Since the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) falls under the NDD category, Perkins funding will be reduced for FY 13. This means that the previous tables provided by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) are no longer accurate. Due to the unforeseen additional 0.2 percent cut, OVAE will have to run their formulas again to determine state allocations for July 1, 2013. We will pass along any additional information to members as it is provided to us.

President’s Budget for FY14

After several delays in its release date, the White House has announced that President Obama’s budget will be made public on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. We will review the President’s budget closely to see what is proposed for Career Technical Education (CTE), as CTE was featured so prominently in his State of the Union address.

Senate Passes FY14 Budget Proposal

The Senate has now passed S.Con.Res.8, their proposal for the FY 14 budget. The budget passed the Senate by 50 votes to 49, with four Democrats voting against the proposal. As reported in a previous blog post, S.Con.Res.8 would replace the sequester cuts from FY14 with a balanced deficit reduction package. This would mean that NDD spending in FY14, which includes Perkins funding, would be at much higher levels than what is proposed in the House Budget, H.Con.Res.25. Budget proposals generally do not provide recommendations for program level increases or decreases but instead provide a broad framework, an overall cap on spending, and guidelines for where investments should be made. Therefore, the exact impact of either proposal on Perkins funding is unclear at this time.

Now that both the House and the Senate budgets have passed, a Conference Committee will be held to discuss differences between the House and Senate proposals and for compromise to be reached. After that, the appropriations process will begin, which will provide more details on how each party would fund NDD spending. As soon as more details are available, they will be shared with members.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Legislation, Public Policy
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Register Now for Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar Featuring Area CTE Centers: Conquering the Skills Gap through Business-Industry Collaboration

Friday, March 29th, 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 on Thursday, April 25th at 3 p.m. ET. 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
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

Link to register

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Blog Series: NOCTI, an Eye Toward the Future

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

Dr. John C. Foster is first and foremost a dedicated leader and advocate for individuals preparing for the workforce. He currently serves as the President/CEO of NOCTI and its sister company NOCTI Business Solutions. Amie Bloomfield is the Customer Care and Outreach Manager for NOCTI, and will also be in attendance at the spring meeting.

NOCTI--Navy-11-2009NOCTI and NOCTI Business Solutions provide technical performance assessment for career and technical, secondary, and post-secondary programs in 48 of the 50 states. They also provide career and technical teacher occupational competency testing for universities delivering teacher training. Lastly, these firms provide assessment development, delivery, and reporting help for private industry and associations.

NOCTI, An Eye Toward the Future

The Career Pathways Effect, a joint publication between NASDCTEc and CORD, offers many practical applications for CTE stakeholders. One section within the book is titled “Ensure” and the focus of the chapters within this section discuss proving the successfulness of Career Technical Education (CTE) and ensuring its continuous improvement. Another chapter titled “Certifications” discusses the vast amount of credentials available to CTE students. With available credentials reaching over 1500 options, a focus is clearly needed. Although there has been much debate regarding rubrics for evaluating the quality of certification systems and the resulting certificates, it really boils down to the credibility and applicability of the assessments that drive the certifications.

There is strong emphasis on college and career readiness and this focus continues to make gains in terms of public recognition. Conversely, there are numerous influences within the education community that are drawing the attention of administrators away from this emphasis. These influences include, but are certainly not limited to, the implementation of the common core standards, requirements states have put in place to include student growth measures based on third-party assessments for teacher and principal evaluation processes, the impact of free online learning (MOOCs), and the rising costs of higher education.

NOCTI, a not-for-profit entity governed by an unpaid board elected by the state directors of CTE in all 50 states, works solely for the CTE community to provide the data and support that schools and students need. NOCTI works closely with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE), NASDCTEc, and the Pathways to Prosperity program, just to name a few. New collaborations and initiatives are underway. Here are just a few worth mentioning:

Contact us at to see how we can help you. NOCTI is also a gold sponsor of the NASDCTEc spring meeting; stop by and say hello!

The NASDCTEc Spring Meeting will be held in Washington, DC April 15-17 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. More information

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Spring Meeting

IN Governor Delivers on State of the State Promise, Passes Law that Expands CTE

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In his January state of the state address, Indiana Governor Mike Pence clearly prioritized expanding Career Technical Education (CTE) and aligning CTE programs with the needs of the workforce. Just two months later, a bill supporting this expansion has been passed unanimously in the Indiana General Assembly, and will soon be signed into law by Governor Pence.

The Indiana Works Councils bill will use state and local resources to create Indiana Works Councils (IWC) that help bridge the barriers between education and businesses. Each IWC will identify opportunities and demands for CTE and partnerships with business and industry in each region. Using this information, the IWC will develop more relevant CTE curriculum and identify work-based learning opportunities to increase the alignment of career pathways to in-demand jobs.

Governor Pence stated that, “The passage of this legislation with unanimous and bipartisan support demonstrates the commitment of the people of our state to make career and vocational education a priority in every high school in Indiana again. Today, the Indiana General Assembly took an important step toward making certain that our schools work for all our students, whether they’re college- or career-bound.”

Governors and other policy makers across the nation continue to express support for CTE. Laws such as the IWC legislation will help increase the quality and relevance of CTE programs, and improve opportunities for students to land well-paying, in-demand jobs.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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Friends of CTE Blog Series: PG&E Uses Public-Private Partnerships to Address Skilled Candidate Shortage

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

John R. Simon is Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. PG&E has 22,000 employees who serve 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in California.

John R. Simon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company

John R. Simon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Our customers rely on us to provide safe, reliable and affordable gas and electricity across Northern and Central California. Our workforce is the key to making that happen. Unfortunately, our company is faced with two converging workforce issues: 1) a significant number of employees will need to be replaced due to retirement or attrition over the next five years, and 2) we have a shortage of skilled candidates for our skilled craft jobs. Without a qualified pipeline of candidates ready to join the ranks of PG&E, it will be extremely difficult for us to do our job.

A Unique Model

PG&E has taken this matter into our own hands by creating PowerPathway a collaborative workforce development model built upon the public-private partnerships between PG&E, California community colleges and universities, community-based training organizations, the public workforce development system, unions and other industry employers. At the heart of this model is the need to support the development of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs that meet the workforce needs of PG&E and the utilities industry.

CTE’s Role

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium’s (NASDCTEc) vision for CTE is partially based on the principal that CTE must actively partner with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs. With the guidance and partnership of business and industry professionals, CTE can help students understand the realities of the workforce and economy while preparing them to be college and career ready.

In the case of PG&E’s PowerPathway, candidates participate in a 240-hour utilities-industry CTE program. Coursework for the training program includes basic gas and electricity, safety, physical conditioning, math, reading and other employability subjects vital to workplace success. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate of completion from the community college and PG&E’s PowerPathway. These certificates demonstrate that the graduate is a work-ready and competitive candidate for employment within the energy and utilities sector. Note: Some community colleges also offer credit for successful completion of the program.

Successes – The Numbers

PowerPathway started in 2008, graduating about 75 students the first year. Fast forward five years, and we’ll be graduating more than 250 students in 2013. Not only are we scaling our programs, we are consistently placing PowerPathway graduates into industry positions. As of the first quarter of 2012, 71 percent of graduates have been hired into industry positions, a majority with PG&E. The top five jobs in which students have found employment at PG&E are utility worker, apprentice electrician, gas service rep, materials handler and nuclear security guard.

Seventy percent of those hired from the PowerPathway candidate pool progress into apprenticeships or higher job classifications within one year of hire. The rate of retention after six months is also significantly higher for those who have graduated from PowerPathway – 98 percent versus 88 percent for the same skilled craft classifications. In addition, nearly 90 percent of PG&E supervisors who have hired PowerPathway graduates said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their performance.

A Win-Win for All 

By collaborating with CTE and local partners in the community, PG&E has been able to grow a more qualified and career-ready pool of candidates to join our workforce. In addition, building a strong internal brand for PowerPathway programs as a trusted source of quality candidates has been a huge component of sustainability and scalability for our programs. PG&E is a strong proponent of investing in its future workforce, and we’ve found a model that works. You can learn more about PowerPathway at We encourage all companies to consider leveraging the power of public-private partnerships to advance CTE and strengthen their future pipeline of talent.


The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at

By Melinda in CTE: Learning that works for America, News
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Register Now for April 3 NASDCTEc Webinar on Sustainability Education Resources and Tools for CTE Students and Educators

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Sign up now for NASDCTEc Webinar on Workforce Readiness – Learn how your Students can Earn an Industry Certification in Sustainability 101 and all about GEF’s Green Building Curriculum!

Date and Time April 3, 2013 at 3 p.m. Eastern

Victoria Waters, Green Education Foundation (GEF) Institute President, will be introducing the Institute’s new offering for CTE schools – a Sustainability 101 Certification! Learn how Virginia Beach City Public Schools is implementing this valuable credential in one of the largest school districts in Virginia and what their students are saying about it.

GEF will also showcase how New Jersey is educating their CTE students on green construction at nine school districts throughout the state with the Institute’s Green Building Course. The curriculum includes the following seven modular units that can be taught in conjunction with an existing course, as a semester or yearlong offering or standalone:

• Introduction to Sustainability and Green Building
• Sustainable Sites
• Materials and Resources
• Energy and the Built Environment
• Indoor Environmental Quality
• Water Efficiency in Buildings
• The Present and Future of Green Building

Please join Patrick Konopnicki, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, CTE Director; Todd Menadier, Director of Field Implementation and Enhancement for the NJ Green Program of Study grant project; and Victoria Waters, CEO of GEF Institute to learn how to inform, prepare and excite your students for jobs in the new green economy!

Link to register:

This webinar will be recorded.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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Legislative Update: House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal; House Passes Continuing Resolution

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal
The House yesterday moved to pass H.Con.Res.25 to establish the budget for the U.S. government for FY 14 and set forth appropriate budgetary levels for FY 15 through FY 23. Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal for FY14, with 221 votes cast in favor of the measure and 207 votes against it. Ten Republicans voted against passage. As reported in a previous blog post, H.Con.Res.25 proposes an 11.7 percent reduction in overall non defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY14, which includes Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) funding. The Senate is currently debating amendments to their own budget proposal (S.Con.Res.8).Once the final version passes in the Senate, a Conference Committee will be held to discuss differences between the House and Senate proposals and for compromise to be reached.

Houses Passes Continuing Resolution
The House yesterday also passed the Senate-approved Continuing Resolution. This decision means the bill is passed to President Obama to sign. The bill, which will presumably be signed into law, would not require any additional cuts to Perkins other than the already agreed upon 5 percent cut from sequestration.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Public Policy
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Key Stakeholders Convene to Discuss Career Pathways at Pathways to Prosperity Event

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

This week, more than 400 educators, researchers, business leaders, economists, and civic stakeholders convened at Harvard University to consider the possibility of expanding career pathways in school systems across the country.  The catalyst for the conference was the February 2011 report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) titled, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.

Many attendees made the case that the United States can no longer ignore the huge mismatch that exists between the skills students learn in school and the needs of the modern workforce. Several speakers noted that the college-for-all movement has led to widespread dropouts within high school and postsecondary education, college graduates lacking the skills required by employers, and a lack of workers with the high-tech skills essential to the economic development of the United States. Instead, evidence was presented that career pathways prepare all students to be career and college ready and can lead students to higher levels of success as adults. Relevant career pathways open up options for students that the traditional high school and college systems cannot or have not provided in the past.

Ronald Ferguson and William Symonds of the HGSE Pathways to Prosperity Project challenged each person in attendance to submit the steps that they or their organizations will take to advance the Pathways to Prosperity concept. During the conference, attendees shared their strategies, commitments, and experiences for expanding the Multiple Pathways approach. Some see the need to prepare career-ready students as an economic issue, some see it as an issue of equity or social justice, and others view it as a national security issue. Regardless of the philosophical orientation, the participants in the many panels agreed that a more relevant, engaging, and pragmatic approach is needed to prepare students for employment and careers.

Given that students are competing globally with graduates from other countries, it was emphasized that students must acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help innovate and create new technologies and approaches.  Without commitments from business and education to change local, state, and national policies and systems, there is doubt that the full economic potential of our country or wide-spread sustainable wages can be attained in the foreseeable future.

Many presentations supported Career Technical Education (CTE) as an essential foundational element of creating the pathways needed to truly transform education systems. To assist in moving the pathways movement forward, Ferguson announced the creation of the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The network is “a collaboration between the Pathways to Prosperity Project at HGSE, Jobs for the Future (JFF), and six states focused on ensuring that many more young people complete high school, attain a postsecondary credential with currency in the labor market, and launch into a career while leaving open the prospect of further education.”

To read more go to:

Patrick Ainsworth, Ed.D., NASDCTEc Past President

By Kara in News
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Register Now for the 2013 National Career Clusters® Institute

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Register Now for the 2013 National Career Clusters® Institute: Achieving Excellence

PrintAt the National Career Clusters® Institute in Fort Worth, TX on June 10-12, we are pleased to share sessions that promote the use of Career Clusters® to drive collaboration and innovation in state and local education and workforce systems. Among the numerous breakout sessions, pre sessions and general sessions, you’re sure to find the Institute a rich, exciting experience!

Take Advantage of Early Bird Registration

Our Institute Web site will provide all the information you need about Early Bird registration, available now until April 1, 2013; hotel reservations (book your room by May 17 to receive our special group rate); pre sessions (available June 9 and 10, additional fee applies) and our exciting breakout sessions!

Awesome General Session Speakers

Opening General Session Speaker Dr. Randall Pinkett

DrPinkett4 (272x400)You may know Dr. Pinkett as a winner of NBC’s hit reality TV show “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump.

He will share “The Three Essential Mindsets to Compete in the 21st Century” showing how these trends are having a tremendous impact on our nation’s education and development systems. These three trends are contributing to a new landscape that requires new ways of thinking – or new mindsets – to be competitive in the 21st century.

As an advocate of Career Clusters® and a leader in Career Technical Education, what can you do to make sure that your classroom, your program, your institution or your state are preparing students to embrace these new ‘mindsets’ and to be competitive in the 21st Century?

Dr. Pinkett will share how Career Clusters® be used as an effective strategy to ensure student success in this ever-changing economy and society.

Closing General Session Speaker Mr. Rick Delano

Generational theorist Rick Delano will illustrate how to understand today’s youth generation in “Preparing Millennials for the Workplace” – our newest workers, teachers, voters, military recruits and parentsRick Delano Photo 2013 (267x400). As Career Technical Education leaders, how are we preparing them to be the workforce we need?

How can we share the message of Career Clusters® to these individuals in a purposeful way within our existing programmatic structures, to prepare them to succeed?

The oldest Millennial is now 31. We know them as our sons and daughters, perhaps as our grandchildren.

What you will learn about them as a generation will surprise, intrigue, inspire and inform you.

The conference kicks of at 1 p.m. June 10 and wraps up at Noon June 12. Pre sessions are offered afternoon of June 9 and morning of June 10.

Aimed toward providing a venue for sharing of effective practices, ideas, and research, the Institute is designed to increase student success and ensure our nation’s economic growth and security. What are Career Clusters®? Learn more

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in National Career Clusters Institute

Recording Now Available for NASDCTEc Webinar on the Research Behind Branding Best Practices

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

You may now view the recording and Power Point for NASDCTE’s webinar on the “Research Behind Branding Best Practices.”

When the CTE: Learning that works for America® brand was created, state Career Technical Education (CTE) offices were given the opportunity to be part of a national movement to change the image, definition and expectations for CTE. Through a series of interviews with the states participating in the branding campaign, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has discovered that eight best practices in branding can elevate a state’s branding campaign and increase their chances of successfully communicating the brand message.

Dr. Melinda Lloyd discussed the research that was conducted and the key findings of that research. Two of the branding best practices – co-branding and engaging local educators – were highlighted during this Webinar. State staff from Arkansas, Oregon and Wisconsin shared examples of their branding efforts. The Webinar concluded with a brief introduction to a new set of resources on that will serve as examples for states that are just getting started with their branding efforts or states that are hoping to take their branding efforts to a new level.

Presenters included:

Melinda Lloyd, Ed.D, Communications Consultant for NASDCTEc
Sandra Porter, Associate Director for Workforce Training, Arkansas Department of Career Education
Donna Brant, Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Career and Technical Education
Jennell Ives, Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Career and Technical Education
Larry Cheyne, Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Community College and Workforce Development
Sharon Wendt, Director, Wisconsin Career and Technical Education
Sara Baird, Career Pathways Consultant, Wisconsin Career and Technical Education

Recording Link

Power Point Presentation PDF version

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars