Virginia Shares Plan for Promoting CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ Throughout the State

In NASDCTEc’s campaign to promote Career Technical Education (CTE), it provides many advocacy tools to help states address key challenges–from workforce development to student achievement, from economic vitality to global competitiveness. Virginia is taking this campaign to heart by maximizing its efforts in sharing this important message by using the CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ logos in their advocacy efforts throughout the state.

At this point, over 43 states have signed on to use the CTE brand logo, brand theme and brand messaging in their communications. In an interview with State Director Lolita Hall (pictured), Virginia’s process for embracing use of the CTE Branding materials was shared, with the intent that it could help other states as they map out their use of the logos statewide.

After the CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ initiative was unveiled at the NASDCTEc 2011 Spring Meeting, the Virginia state staff held a meeting and created a thoughtful plan to promote this initiative, using care in how it would be rolled out, keeping the following tenets in mind:

  • Consistent usage and vigilant stewardship of the CTE brand are critical to effectively establish the brand
  • For third party users (district and up), by signing the user’s agreement—and by using the CTE brand in the ways outlined in the CTE User’s Guidelines—you are helping to create awareness and recognition for CTE that enhances its leadership position among key target audiences
  • This is not just about proper usage of a logo. It’s about what the CTE brand represents and how CTE is positioned for leadership in addressing key issues facing our nation. You play an important role in this national CTE initiative, and your use of the CTE brand assets is a clear and visible endorsement of this initiative

Ms. Hall noted that the group wanted to acknowledge that use of the logo represented more than ‘just a logo’, but was a reflection of their culture, with a projection of an image exemplifying quality and high standards…that the initiative process in Virginia should have a deep quality and meaning. So, the group developed a plan, detailing how best to post the initiative on the state Web site, for starters. The public relations staff was included in the process, with state staff asking for advice on how best to use the logo. Virginia was thoughtful about how to get state programs and groups to sign on, always keeping the tenets in mind. The group’s mindset was to slow down and think about what the logo means.

The initiative spread in a methodical fashion –

  • Logos were used in state-level PowerPoints at first – so a visual of the logo was quietly used in quality documents, creating familiarity;
  • The logos positioned strategically in the Trailblazers newsletter and access information in the Trailblazers blog (both professional development resources for CTE in Virginia)
    and the Career and Technical Education News, November 2011 issue; and
  • Included in the CTE Resource Center Web site was a message on how to access the CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ resources

Ms. Hall said that the logo “was introduced slowly, and put on quality work – to emphasize that the logo is associated with quality. “

CTE State Directors have the discretion of allowing third parties to use the state logo, which adds an extra step for states to approve or deny requests. The other choice for State Directors is to allow for third parties, once the user agreement form is submitted, to begin using the logos immediately. Virginia opted to vet all third-party user agreements, and created a validation process to streamline this operation, dedicating a staff member to vet the agreements and notify NASDCTEc of all approvals. Third-party approval is often used by states to find out who is requesting and utilizing the logos at the sub-state level.

Virginia is truly supporting the CTE vision, the CTE brand, and the CTE brand promise as representing the value proposition that CTE is “Learning that works for America.” We applaud you!

For more information on Virginia’s CTE: Learning that works for America™ logo and branding dissemination process, please contact Margaret Watson at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager


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