SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute is Largest Ever

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Students and Teachers from 29 States Visit Congressional Representatives

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Career and technical education students and teachers from 29 states attended SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) Sept. 23-27. They visited their congressional representatives and paid respects at the Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns as well as the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. This year’s event, with 506 attendees, is the largest in SkillsUSA history.

The five-day Washington Leadership Training Institute is sponsored each year by SkillsUSA to help CTE students learn how to effectively communicate with their legislative representatives; to understand SkillsUSA’s framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics; and to become familiar with the nation’s capital.

Congressional visits are an important part of WLTI. This year’s delegations discussed the value of public career and technical education to their respective states, the quality of their education and training, their occupational plans and the benefits of their participation in SkillsUSA. Students explained that today’s workplace requires people to participate in high-quality training systems. SkillsUSA has been successful in developing these skills in students of all ages and backgrounds.

SkillsUSA is an integral part of public career and technical education (CTE), as asserted by U.S. Department of Education officials at a Sept. 26 rally of WLTI participants on Capitol Hill. According to the Education department, the average high-school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18 percent, while on average only 80 percent of freshmen will eventually graduate. CTE is also about jobs — good middle-class jobs — that are essential for the American economy and global competitiveness. Of the 47 million job openings projected over 10 years through 2018, one-third will require an associate degree or certificate, and nearly all will require real-world skills that can be mastered through CTE.

About SkillsUSA
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: http://www.SkillsUSA.org.

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Jane Short
SkillsUSA
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