While we are not changing the basic principles of our discipline, we are emphasizing the scientific and technical foundations of our profession — so that everyone will come to understand that there is more to what we do than gears and gas or wood and nails. At the suggestion that the National Association for Trade and Industry Educators (NATIE) take the lead role, we met with the National Association of State Supervisors for Trade and Industrial Education (NASSTIE) and determined that the two groups should merge. This unified organization will help us increase participation in the representative Trade and Industry (T&I) groups, concentrate our resources, and develop mutually beneficial programs that will ultimately serve more people across the nation. In August 2005, elected officials from NATIE and NASSTIE met in Orlando to decide how to bring about a merger of these two organizations. The initial plan developed a set of bylaws to govern the new organization, with a new name, that would speak more effectively for all T&I educators. The two groups officially formed ASTS in June, 2006 at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City. This was a proposal for change. We believe it was greatly needed to become more effective as a national voice for our programs. We welcome your input and observations and are looking to involve all interested groups to help grow and provide direction for the new organization.
While our initial plan was to merge the two old organizations, we value the potential of involving other Trade and Industrial associations and organizations. We hope to ultimately engage any and all organizations associated with skilled and technical occupational fields of study. Our membership includes administrators, secondary teachers, postsecondary teachers, teacher educators and student association advisors (SkillsUSA/TSA/other), along with representatives from the industrial sector.