Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Check Out the Skills that Work Toolkit

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Many young people today struggle to connect their education and skills with the job market. That’s why Young Invincibles, a policy and advocacy organization, created the Skills that Work toolkit. It provides job market information for each state in a format to help young people understand their options.

These resources can also be shared with Members of Congress when advocating for Perkins and CTE. For example, the toolkit lists the top ten fastest growing jobs in your state over the next decade that require a 2-year or 4-year degree.  Follow the link to the Skills that Work Website to find out more.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Virginia Shares Plan for Promoting CTE: Learning that works for Americaâ„¢ Throughout the State

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

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:

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 –

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

By Ramona in Advance CTE Resources, CTE: Learning that works for America

Congress Passes Spending Bill

Monday, December 19th, 2011

This weekend Congress passed an omnibus appropriations package for FY12 that includes funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education programs. The bill includes a 0.189 percent across the board cut to all of these programs, including Perkins and Workforce Investment Act programs. However, because Perkins saw a 1.5 percent cut to advanced appropriations in October, this new bill will restore all of that funding to the states, except for 0.189 percent.

While any cut to Perkins is unwelcome news, we believe that in this fiscal environment a cut of less than one percent is better than it could have been. We have worked hard to maintain Perkins funding over that last several months and we thank you for all of your support and advocacy. Now on to FY13!

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager



By Nancy in Legislation
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ACTION ALERT – Child Labor Laws Regarding Agricultural Labor

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations relating to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which eliminate the student learner exemptions, particularly related to agriculture experiences. These changes would limit the opportunities for students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in agriculture programs. While the comment period on the proposed regulations has ended, some members of Congress are mobilizing to stop the changes from going into effect. But we need your help!

The National Association of Agriculture Educators has more information on how you can help by asking your member of Congress to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter. Information on the Senate letter is here; information on the House letter is here.

Please note, the timeline is very tight. The deadline to get your Representative to sign on Rep. Rehberg’s letter is close of business Thursday December 15, 2011. The deadline to get your Senator to sign on to Sens. Moran and Nelson’s letter is close of business Friday December 16, 2011.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, WIA, Job Training

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Perkins Funding Still in Jeopardy

The continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress last month is set to expire on December 16. Having passed three of the 12 appropriations bills, Congress must now pass the remaining nine bills or another CR. Their goal is to package all nine bills in an omnibus bill and pass it next week. However, if this does not happen, Congress can either pass another short-term CR to buy more time, or include all compromised bills in the omnibus and fund the remaining bills under a year-long CR.

Unfortunately, some of these bills, including Labor-HHS-Education, are so controversial that Congress may choose not work out a deal and instead will fund them under a year-long CR. If this happens, the 1.5% cut applied to Perkins Act advanced appropriations in a previous CR would remain. This would mean that states will not get that money back, and it would set the level for Perkins funding lower for next year. But, if a final Labor-HHS-Education bill is passed and it contains level funding for Perkins, then states will get that money back.

So, the fight is not yet over and we need your help! Call your Member of Congress today and encourage them to work to complete the remaining appropriations bills and to fund the Perkins Act at FY11 levels. You can reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators’ and/or Representative’s office.

Bills Introduced

Workforce Investment Act

House Republicans introduced two bills this week that will serve as the basis for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization in the House.

Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act

Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) introduced H.R. 3610, the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act, which would consolidate 33 of the 47 job training programs identified in a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office as duplicative into four flexible Workforce Investment Funds. These funds would focus on adults, youth, veterans and special populations. This bill would also require states and locals to set common performance measures for all employment and job training programs.

The Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act also allows states to submit a unified plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs. Both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs are eligible to be a part of a state’s unified plan.

Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (Local JOBS) Act

Rep. Joe Heck (NV) introduced H.R. 3611, the Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (Local JOBS) Act. The goal of this bill is to ensure that the nation’s job training system can effectively provide workers with the skills necessary to compete in the local workforce. To that end, the bill would require that two-thirds of workforce investment board members be employers; that a portion of resources (as determined by the local WIB) be spent directly on training; and that local boards partner with higher education institutions and economic development organizations to better develop job training programs that address the needs of area businesses.

Bipartisan Jobs Creation Act

Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Claire McCaskill (MO) this week announced the Bipartisan Jobs Creation Act legislation which is aimed at creating jobs by cutting taxes for businesses, investing in transportation infrastructure, and consolidating federal job training programs. The bill would be paid for by a surtax on taxpayers earning more than $1 million per year and ending subsidies for oil companies. This bill includes two areas of interest:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Research Hearing, Bills Introduced

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Congress Passes Temporary Spending Bill

The House and Senate passed a spending package that includes a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 16, 2011. The bill also includes a “minibus” spending package of three appropriations bills – Agriculture, Transportation-HUD, and Commerce-Science-Justice – funded through the end of the fiscal year. House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (KY) has said that he intends package the remaining nine appropriations bills into a single omnibus bill, which would include the Labor-HHS-Education bill.

While the new CR does not restore the 1.5% cut to Perkins from the previous CR, we have learned from the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Education that if the final spending bill does not include language regarding reductions to advanced appropriations, then the 1.5% cut enacted in October will be restored to states.

Because the restoration of the 1.5% is not a done deal, we urge you call your Member of Congress today to make sure they are aware of the situation and they act to restore these funds to Perkins.

House Hearing on Education Research

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing to examine the federal role in education research. The purpose of the hearing – “Education Research: Identifying Effective Programs to Support Students and Teachers” – was to ensure that education research is beneficial to parents, teachers, and students. Some of the topics discussed by witnesses included: connecting data across learner levels, using education research in a way that benefits students, and creating incentives for teachers and schools that incorporate research-backed methods into their work.

Bills Introduced

Pathways Back to Work

On Monday, Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Pathways Back to Work Act which would enact the portions of President Obama’s American Jobs Act that provide employment opportunities and skills training for the unemployed. The Pathways Back to Work Act focuses on three area:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager



By Nancy in Legislation
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Perkins Funding Maintained in House Proposal

Friday, September 30th, 2011

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its FY12 bill yesterday. In it, the House proposes to maintain Perkins funding. Given the House’s stated goal of reducing federal spending, this is a tremendous victory for Perkins and CTE!

As we reported last week, the Senate also proposed level funding for Perkins in their appropriations bill, so there is a good chance that the final bill will reflect this consensus. However, this is not guaranteed, and we must continue to fight for CTE funding. I encourage you to call your Members of Congress and thank them for preserving Perkins funding in their respective draft bills, but also ask them to keep  Perkins level funded in the final bill.

I also encourage you to ask your business and industry partners to show their support for CTE funding by signing onto a business letter that we, along with ACTE, AACC, CCSSO and AASA, are planning to send up to Congress in October. If you have businesses in your state that want to sign on, please have them email me at

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Calling on the CTE Community to Work

Friday, September 16th, 2011

NASDCTEc and the entire CTE community must work and advocate for CTE, said Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director, in a recent Techniques Magazine edition dedicated to advocacy.

The September edition of Techniques , Now Is the Time to Advocate for CTE, highlights the need for the CTE community to raise its voice and get involved and fight for CTE during these tough economic times. In the article, The Community Must Work for CTE, Green stressed the urgent need to mobilize and speak with one voice through the CTE: Learning that Works for America â„¢ campaign. The campaign is a tool to let the public know that CTE is committed to quality programs that helps students and ultimately the nation succeed in the global economy.

Global competition and a weak economy are game changers in terms of how policymakers perceive the value of CTE and education overall. The CTE community has work to do; they must convince policymakers that CTE has been able to evolve to meet the new demands of the economy, she said in the article.

“Expressing our commitment to CTE in a consistent voice is critical to ensuring that we provide the impact that is needed to garner the support for CTE,” Green said.

“We urge you to affirm your commitment to the CTE: Learning that works for America ™ campaign. The time for leadership and commitment to CTE has never been greater.”

Erin Uy, Communication and Marketing Manager

By Erin in News, Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Advocating

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Recent cuts to the Perkins Act and the threat of further cuts to all discretionary programs reinforces the need to let Congress know that CTE programs are vitally important to preparing individuals for careers and turning around the economy.

Join NASDCTEc’s Public Policy Manager, Nancy Conneely, as she walks you through how to be an effective advocate for Perkins and CTE. While many use the terms “lobbying” and “advocating” interchangeably, there is a difference. So, even if your state prohibits you from lobbying, there are still things you can do to bring attention to the importance of CTE at a time when it is needed more than ever.

When: Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 2 p.m. EST

You do not need to register for this webinar. Simply log in using the link on September 14th.

By Nancy in Webinars
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Legislative Update: Deficit Committee, Bills Introduced

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Congress Appoints Deficit Reduction Committee

The Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling earlier this month, requires Congress to select a bipartisan, bicameral committee to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Congressional leaders this week revealed their picks:



The co-chairs are Sen. Murray and Rep. Hensarling. The committee has until December 23 to vote on a final bill to reduce the deficit. If the committee cannot come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts or revenue, that will trigger $1.2 trillion in across the board spending cuts that will go into in 2013.

Because of the sheer number of cuts that need to be made to reduce the deficit, there is great potential for Perkins funding to be affected. And if we are not a part of the committee’s cuts, we may be impacted by the across the board cuts that will go into effect if the committee does not meet its $1.5 trillion target.

We encourage you to reach out to your members of Congress, but the committee members in particular, to ask them to preserve Perkins funding. Given that Perkins was cut in FY 2011, we know that we are vulnerable. Now is the time to tell Congress how those cuts and future cuts will hurt CTE students and programs.

Bills Introduced:

Hire, Train, Retain Act
Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH) introduced H.R. 2742, Hire, Train, Retain Act of 2011, which would provide tax incentives to employers for providing training programs for jobs specific to the needs of the employers.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Richard (CT) introduced S. 1464, Measuring and Evaluating Trends for Reliability, Integrity, and Continued Success (METRICS) Act of 2011. This bill is designed to help states implement integrated statewide education longitudinal data systems by awarding grants to state educational agencies.

Early Intervention for Graduation Success Act
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) introduced S. 1495, Early Intervention for Graduation Success Act in an effort to curb dropout rates. This bill would amend ESEA to direct competitive grants to states and school districts with the lowest graduation rates for school dropout prevention activities.

By Nancy in Legislation
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