Stories @ TCAT

October 3, 2018               

Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville Students Attend SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute on Capitol Hill

The five-day Washington Leadership Training Institute is sponsored each year by SkillsUSA to provide students an opportunity to learn about Washington D.C.; how to effectively communicate with their legislative representatives; and about personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. This year's delegations discussed the value of public career and technical education to Tennessee’s Congressmen. They discussed the quality of their education and training; their occupational plans; and, the benefits of their participation in SkillsUSA.

The Washington Leadership Training Institute is a leadership and citizenship training event. WLTI concentrates on advanced leadership and communications skills, including sharing their personal stories with legislative representatives. This year, more than 500 students and instructors from 27 states attended the leadership conference. DeAnne Hart and Ashley Toepfer both earned their SkillsUSA Statesman’s Award during the conference which is based on high level leadership, communication and citizenship skills.

SkillsUSA is an integral part of public career and technical education (CTE) and 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 90.18% compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80%. 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.

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 in Tennessee 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:  

Pictured from Right to left: Boyd Hestand, DeAnne Hart, Ashley Toepfer and Patrick Wade