Week One (8/2): Connect with Policymakers through ACTE’s Action Center

ACTE’s Action Center is designed to help you easily connect with your federal policymakers and influence key pieces of legislation and critical decisions that impact CTE. It is a one-stop-shop to getting started with grassroots advocacy! 

You may have already used the Action Center in conjunction with ACTE’s time-sensitive Legislative Alerts, but those often don’t provide a lot of flexibility or time for exploring the full range of tools the Center has to offer. For our first advocacy task of the month, ACTE’s Public Policy Department would like to better familiarize you with the various features of the Action Center, and through that, make a strong push for policymakers in Washington to support robust federal investments in CTE. As Congress starts to head home for August recess, work continues on a multitude of legislative vehicles – including Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, a bipartisan infrastructure package and a potential budget reconciliation package, and we need your help to ensure CTE has a seat at the table! 


TAKE ACTION: Navigate to the Action Center and send a letter to your federal policymakers expressing the importance of resources for: 

  • Upskilling and reskilling workers to respond to the ever-changing demands of a pandemic-impacted economy.  
    • Pandemic-related job losses have impacted the economy significantly, and many of those losses will be permanent. 
    • ACTE’s written testimony to federal policymakers and the Department of Education provides additional context and information to support your messages! Utilize the included facts and data to bolster your letter and convince policymakers to act.  
  • Helping institutions recover from the financial demands of the pandemic and build on innovations that emerged during the last year. 
    • ACTE’s High-Quality CTE During COVID-19: Challenges and Innovations publication provides a closer look at the challenges and successes that CTE programs faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Draw on ACTE’s research to make the case for CTE in your letter. As educators and administrators, you know your program best! 
  • Developing the educators, program content and flexibility necessary to help meet future workforce needs. 
    • CTE remains a critical component to the workforce pipeline for key industries that are needed to sustain a long-term economic recovery, such as healthcare, STEM, manufacturing, construction and transportation distribution and logistics. Explain in your letter how you are meeting workforce needs in your program! 


While we have included some sample language to help guide your letter in the Action Center, we would like you to customize the letter and include specific examples about your program and community needs! The subject line and body of the letter are FULLY-CUSTOMIZABLE to help you craft a personal message. More tips on personalizing your letter can be found below. 


Letter-Writing Tips: 


  • Include supporting factsHave data and research on hand that support your position and include this information in the body of your message.
  • Explain the benefits if the policymaker supports your view: On the contrary, explain what the negative consequences would be if they ultimately do not support your view. Provide the policymaker with a clear and actionable idea – using available data and research – of what their constituents will gain, and appeal to their desire to act in the best interest of their constituents.  
  • Weave in personal narrativesExplain the personal narratives behind why you are asking for their support. Are you an educator? What would it mean for you and your students? Have you seen the impact of a program or curriculum first-hand? 
    • Write confidently about your experiences and expertise as a CTE professional and explain how CTE and related policies help the policymaker’s constituents. Reiterate somewhere in your message that you are also their constituent, and that you are looking forward to having their support.
  • Establish yourself as a resource: As a CTE advocate, you know your way around best practices. Explain and leverage your expertise to help provide policymakers with the perspectives they need to make strong decisions for CTE.  


Action Center Tools: 

In addition to sending your letter, take a few minutes to explore the Action Center and discover all the tools and resources it offers!

  • HomeThe home page lists the Action Alerts that the ACTE Public Policy Department sends out to our members via email. They are also posted on the CTE Policy Watch Blog. Each alert has a blue button marked “TAKE ACTION” that will prompt you to enter your name and address in the provided fields so that the Action Center can determine your Members of Congress and help you send your letter to them.
  • Directory: The directory section helps you find more detailed information about your U.S. Senator and Representative, including office locations, social media pages, official government websites, biographical information and electoral information.
  • Bills: The bills section lists bills that ACTE supports and their statuses in Congress.
  • Votes: The votes section provides a list of votes that ACTE is monitoring and the status of the legislation.
  • Elections: The election section lists information about voting and absentee ballots.
  • Media: The media section provides contact information for members of your local media.

If you would like further assistance in crafting messages to your federal policymakers, please contact Jori Houck, Media Relations and Advocacy Associate, at jhouck@acteonline.org.