Posts Tagged ‘skillsusa’

SkillsUSA: How Industry Collaboration Creates Opportunity for the Future of CTE

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

SkillsUSA ConstructionFor students in high-skill career pathways, winning an invitation to the SkillsUSA national competition is one of the biggest honors in their field. Not only does the annual competition give students an opportunity to showcase their talent in different trades but it also demonstrates what the future of Career Technical Education (CTE) can be: a coordinated, cross-sector effort to put learner success first.

This year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky — the 52nd annual competition — featured more than 6,000 competitors, 4,000 teachers and advisers, and 600 national industry leaders from across the United States. In two days of fierce competition, students took to the exposition floor to demonstrate their mastery in a variety of skilled trades: Automated Manufacturing Technology, Culinary Arts, Health Occupations, Mechatronics, Web Design and Welding, to name a few.

What stood out throughout the conference was not only the passion from competitors and their advisers, but also the relationships that students, educators and conference organizers had with industry leaders in each field. Business and industry representatives were highly engaged, contributing generous prize packages for winners in each category, partnering with SkillsUSA National to align competition criteria to industry standards, and providing judges for each competition. Further, many industry leaders could be seen on the exposition floor throughout the week, observing competitions and scoping out future hires.

While students demonstrated their skills on the competition floor, SkillsUSA allowed CTE thought leaders to demonstrate their own wins through SkillsUSA University sessions. In one such session, Dan Belcher of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) laid out a 12-step plan for facilitating cross-sector collaboration, informed by his experience in the construction industry. He suggested that organizations can start by identifying their needs: the specific skills and knowledge they want to teach their students. This will prepare them to discuss and maximize areas of collaboration with industry partners. On the industry side, organizations should evaluate the resources — equipment, mentorship, strategic guidance, etc. — that they are willing to bring to the table. Such cross-sector collaboration will help streamline pathways from education to career and ensure future success for CTE students. Other sessions included discussions on engaging nontraditional students, engaging the community, and adapting to new assessments.

Advance CTE’s updated Vision, Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE, describes a future in which CTE programs are held to the highest standards of excellence and all systems work together to support learner success. The SkillsUSA conference provides an encouraging snapshot of what this world will look like, with industry experts and educators alike working together to prepare students for their futures. The task remains to take this successful model and apply it nationwide so that all students can access the opportunity that CTE provides.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, June 24th, 2016


Advance CTE staff was spread across the country this week with two staff members attending the exciting SkillsUSA competition in Kentucky bringing together thousands of students from across the country to compete.


This week, Advance CTE launched the Learning that Works Resource Center where you can find all the latest reports, case studies, tools, guides and policies on CTE and career readiness. Be sure to check out the new Resource Center and let us know if you have any materials that should be included! The Resource Center was developed as part of the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership between Advance CTE, CCSSO and Education Strategy Group, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.


WDQC’s new infographic highlights examples of state legislation that requires colleges and universities to report on employment and earnings of program graduates.


Transportation: A natural vehicle for integrated STEM learning will explore STEM learning in programs using a transportation lens through informal educational settings and will build off of the findings from the 2015 National Research Council’s report on productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Resources, Meetings and Events, Resources, Webinars
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CTE Research Review: The Workforce Edition

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Transforming Workforce Development Policies

A new book from the Kansas City Federal Reserve calls for a comprehensive restructuring of the nation’s workforce development policies and programs to better meet the human capital demands of employers. This compilation of submissions from some of the most prominent thought leaders in workforce development policy today, the Federal Reserve is wading into a relatively new area of research but one where it plans to continue being actively involved.

Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century,” provides thoughtful perspectives on the system itself as well as how to redesign these strategies and evidence-based policies and practices.

The Role of CTERoleCTE

What and who has the greatest impact on students and their career choices? This is the central question of a new report, “Attracting the Next
Generation Workforce: The Role of Career and Technical Education,” from The Manufacturing Institute, SkillsUSA and Educational Research Center of America. The study, which surveyed more than 20,000 high school students enrolled in CTE programs of study, also aims to provide insight into students’ perceptions of the value of CTE preparation.

Overwhelmingly (64 percent), students cited their own interests and experiences as the greatest influence on their future careers. The second and third greatest influences were a student’s father (22 percent) and mother (19 percent). Perhaps surprisingly, guidance counselors accounted for 3 percent –the least important influence on a student’s career choice.

So how did students perceive the value of CTE preparation for the future careers? While 47 percent of all CTE students surveyed said that CTE has helped make their career choices clearer, that number rises significantly for CTE students who also participate in a CTSO or are members of SkillsUSA. Also, those students engaged in CTSOs are nearly 50 percent more likely to pursue a technical career in the field they are studying, according to the survey.

Check out the report to learn about how students are exposed to future employers as well as educators’ perceptions of CTE.

Also new from The Manufacturing Institute is a tool that can help educators make the case for work-based learning and employer partnerships. The tool – a return on investment calculator – is designed to help manufacturers calculate the cost of open positions within a company by factoring in costs across several categories including training, recruiting, human resources and operations.

Also Worth the Read:

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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NASDCTEc Goes to SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference

Friday, June 26th, 2015

This past week, NASDCTEc had the privilege of attending SkillsUSA’s 51st annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). The conference is the group’s largest annual convening of its national and state membership and is one of the premier opportunities for Career Technical Education (CTE) students to showcase the impressive technical and employability skills they’ve acquired through participation in the Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) and theirInline image 1 respective CTE programs.

More than 16,000 people, including students, their families, teachers, advisors, and business partners from across the country took part in the weeklong event which began last weekend with intensive leadership training for national SkillsUSA student officers and advisors. On Tuesday, the Opening Ceremony took place where Snap-On CEO, Nick Pinchuk, who delivered a powerful keynote address on the importance of CTE and the significant contributions SkillsUSA has made to the CTE enterprise over the past fifty years.

However, the most impressive component of NLSC took place on Wednesday and Thursday where more than 6,000 exceptional CTE students competed in the national SkillsUSA Championships. These students, all qualifying from related statewide contests, competed in over 100 different technical, trade, and leadership fields ranging from the culinary arts, robotics competitions all the way to public speaking and performance in mock interviews with real employers. These timed and judged competitions provide a hands-on way for these CTE students to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies that they’ve acquired throughout their CTE careers which were put on full display for families, friends, and even prospective employers.

In addition to this national contest, members of the SkillsUSA World Team participated in the the event— a select few of the best students from across the nation who will be competing on behalf of the United States later this year in Brazil at the annual WorldSkills competition. NASDCTEc applauds the incredible work that SkillsUSA, and especially its students, have done and continue to do.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

By Steve Voytek in News
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SkillsUSA Championships Highlight Career Ready Students

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Career Technical Education (CTE) students from across the nation recently were nationally recognized for their demonstration of occupational preparation and their employability skills — assets of high demand in today’s economy. Those students competed in the SkillsUSA Championships, which involved state competitions and an overall national event.

SkillsUSA estimates that 10,000 local-and state-level contests are held annually. More than 5,800 students competed representing every state and several territories during the national SkillsUSA Championships. Contests are designed, managed and judged by industry using industry standards to assess student mastery of technical, academic and employability skills.

The competition and the overall work of SkillsUSA aligns to the emphasis on industry certification in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, and the broader notion of preparing students to enter the workforce career ready.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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