Leesburg, Va. – A delegation of Career and Technical Education (CTE) students and instructors from Texas met with Christopher D. Taylor, staff member of Bill Flores, and Dylan MacInerney, assistant to Kevin Brady, on September 26, 2017. Congressional visits are an important part of SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI). However, the attendees also had the opportunity to visit historic sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial. The delegation was also given the opportunity to explore Washington D.C. up close by visiting some of the most well-known monuments, memorials and Smithsonian museums.
The five-day Washington Leadership Training Institute is sponsored each year by SkillsUSA to provide students an opportunity to learn about Washington and the democratic process. This year’s delegations discussed the value of their education; the value of public career and technical education to their respective states; the quality of their education and training, bridging the national skills gap; and the benefits of their participation in SkillsUSA. They explained that today’s workplace requires people with leadership, teamwork, technical and communication skills to participant to begin closing the skills gap. SkillsUSA has been successful in developing both the technical and soft skills needed in students of all ages and backgrounds.
The Washington Leadership Training Institute is a “capstone” leadership and citizenship event to which students must earn their Statesmen award from their individual states for admission. WLTI concentrates on advanced communications skills, including sharing their personal stories with the media and elected officials. This year, 534 students and instructors from all over the nation attended the workforce development conference.
SkillsUSA is an integral part of public career and technical education (CTE). CTE is learning that works for America. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 93% compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80% and 91 percent of high school graduates who earned 2-3 CTE credits enrolled in college. CTE is also about jobs -- good middle-class jobs -- that are essential for the American economy and global competitiveness. One-third will require an associate's degree or certificate and nearly all will require real-world skills that can be mastered through CTE and the SkillsUSA Framework.
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: www.SkillsUSA.org.