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ISBE Career Connections Conference June 18, 2024 Tinley Park Convention Center
The Illinois State Board of Education Career Connections Conference  offers educators the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with educators from across Illinois. At the ISBE Career Connections Conference, CTE educators come together to exchange ideas, share best practices, and foster meaningful connections with their peers in order to improve opportunities and deepen learning for all students. 


The 2024 ISBE Career Connections Conference will be held on June 18, 2024, at Tinley Park Convention Center 
from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM.​

Registration for the 2024 Career Connections Conference is now open! Join hundreds of educators from across Illinois as they engage in a variety of breakout sessions and learn directly from an expert industry panel. Early bird and group rates are available!

Conference participants are invited to attend a pre-conference event: SkillsUSA ConneCTEd Social on Monday, June 17 from 6 PM - 8 PM at the North & Maple Kitchen + Bar in Tinley Park. This event is free for all conference participants. Registration for this event is included as part of conference registration.​

To register, please visit the conference registration page​​.

Rate Amount
Early-bird (no later than February 29, 2024) $50.00
Group (5 or more from the same school district, community college, or other organization) $40.00 each
Regular (March 1 - June 18, 2024) $65.00

For questions, please contact Dr. Rodrigo Lopez, Director of P-20 Initiatives at Northern Illinois University.​​​​​​​​​

 Agenda & Overview of Breakout Sessions


  • 7:30 AM - Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30 AM - Welcome - Dr. Tony Sanders, State Superintendent of Education
  • 9:25 AM - Breakout Session 1
  • 10:25 AM - Breakout Session 2
  • 11:15 AM - Vendor Showcase 
  • 11:45 AM - Lunch and Networking
  • 12:30 PM - Work-Based Learning: Perspectives on Partnering with Industry Leaders
  • 1:40 PM - Breakout Session 3
  • 2:40 PM - Breakout Session 4​

Overview of Breakout Sessions

Career Connections Breakout Sessions Schedule​ 

The sessions will be led by individuals across the state who submitted proposals.​

CTE educators will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of discussions and learning opportunities throughout the day. All sessions will focus on at least one of these critical areas of instruction: Curriculum, Instruction, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion, Educator Growth, and Policy into Practice. 

Curriculum - Explore CTE standards, the Career Pathway Technical Competencies, and the Essential Skills and gain insights into applying these various standards to the design of instructional units, lesson plans, and assessments.

Instruction - Explore effective instructional practices and pedagogical approaches that enhance student outcomes and reference topics such as problem-based learning, classroom management, differentiation, and the use of technology. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Learn about strategies to eliminate achievement gaps, promote inclusivity, and ensure all students have the resources to succeed. Participants will learn how to most effectively ensure that students have equal access to high-quality educational opportunities and be able to consider strategies for removing obstacles in their own schools and classrooms that prevent such access for students. 

Educator Growth - Engage with other educators on the various approaches to teacher training, mentoring, and ongoing professional development. Educators will learn about how school districts and other organizations can support the development and retention of teachers.

Policy into Practice - Attend sessions that discuss the intersection of educational policy and classroom practices. Learn about key strategies and resources that educators can use to navigate policy changes and improve educational outcomes.


The Illinois State Board of Education is accepting requests from companies and Professional Organizations/Career and Technical Student Organizations to showcase their offerings at the 2024 ISBE Career Connections Conference.

This is an opportunity for:

  • Visibility: Gain exposure among CTE teachers, administrators, and decision-makers.
  • Networking: Collaborate with peers, share insights, and build meaningful connections.
  • Marketing: Showcase your offerings in the bustling lobby of the Tinley Park Convention Center.


Three tiers are available: Conference Vendor, Conference Leader, and Conference Trailblazer. For additional information regarding the tier offerings, review the ISBE Career Connections Vendor Tier Information DocumentPDF Document. Space is limited. If selected, your company will be featured in a high traffic area, offering a prime space for speaking with Illinois CTE practitioners. We would also be providing those that are selected with additional information, including a vendor toolkit complete with materials to help maximize your outreach and engage with the conference attendees.

To inform us of your interest to participate, please complete this 2024 ISBE Career Connections Conference - Vendor Interest form

Professional Organizations and Career Technical Student Organizations

Professional Organizations and Career Technical Student Organizations have the opportunity to participate as a vendor. This includes a space in a high traffic area that provides an opportunity to speak with Illinois CTE practitioners. For additional details, review the Professional Organization and CTSO Vendor Information DocumentPDF Document. Space is limited.

To inform us of your interest to participate, please complete this 2024 ISBE Career Connections Conference - Professional Organization & Career and Technical Student Organizations Interest form.

 Work-Based Learning: Perspectives on Partnering with Industry Leaders

Eric Hill

Executive Director, SkillsUSA

Eric Hill serves as the executive director for SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc., a state-wide organization of nearly 10,000 students and instructors in career and technical education. Hill was appointed in 2015 to lead a staff that provides services to over 150 chapters (educational institutions). In this role, Eric focuses on cultivating strategic partnerships to develop workforce solutions. SkillsUSA Illinois's mission is to empower members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible citizens. It improves the quality of our nation's future skilled workforce.

Eric has almost 20 years of experience with SkillsUSA, including being a state and national competitor, state officer, active alumnus, business and industry partner, and technical committee member. Previously Eric served SkillsUSA Illinois as the assistant executive director who managed conference-related operations and State Championships (career competition programming).

Eric is based out of the SkillsUSA Illinois State Office in Pekin and has a robust business and industry partner network. Outside of SkillsUSA, Eric is an entrepreneur owning several local companies and serves the local community as an elected school board member, chamber of commerce board member, and Pekin Marigold Festival committee member.

Kraig Kistinger

Director of Human Resources, National Tube Supply

Kraig Kistinger is the Director of Human Resources for National Tube Supply where he is responsible for the full scope of human resources services across NTS's 8 locations. During his time at National Tube Supply, Kraig has shifted NTS's HR focus from being tactical to being a strategic partner. Kraig has worked to streamline and drive efficiencies within the HR processes including the implementation of the company's first applicant tracking system, automating the benefits process, connecting employees electronically to their company data and developing alternative recruitment strategies to meet organizational challenges.

Kraig is passionate about workforce development and is active not only in his own organization but also, within his profession and community. Locally, he is a past President of the Grundy Will Human Resources Association having served as a volunteer leader for several years.  Today, he serves as Vice-Chair for the Will County Workforce Investment Board, the Personnel Committee for Guardian Angel Community Services, and the business workforce lead for the Calumet Manufacturing Industry Sector Partnership.

At the state level, Kraig is currently a Co-Chair of the Career Pathways for Target Populations Committee of the IWIB and as a member of the Business Engagement Committee. Additionally, he is a business representative on the board for SkillsUSA Illinois.  Kraig was also selected to the US Chamber of Commerce, the Multistate Career Readiness TPM Academy®.

Kraig's 25+ years' experience in human resources spans across the industrial sector including steel, paper, rail & petrochemical. Prior to joining National Tube Supply, Kraig was responsible for corporate HR services and recruiting for a national mechanical contractor in the petrochemical industry with an average employee base of 1500.

Danielle Kuglin Seago

Manager, Project Hire-Ed, College of DuPage

Ms. Kuglin Seago is a seasoned professional in the realm of work-based learning and workforce development, steering the strategic direction, leadership, and administration of Project Hire-Ed and its Apprenticeship Program at the College of DuPage. Drawing on two decades of experience dedicated to enhancing student achievement in higher education, Ms. Kuglin Seago excels in cultivating internal and external strategic partnerships. Her efforts focus on fortifying and expanding academic and workforce training initiatives, ultimately contributing to student success with a focus on equity and access.

With a rich background in diverse postsecondary settings, ranging from large to small, public and private institutions, Ms. Kuglin Seago has honed her proficiency at esteemed universities and colleges such as the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, DePaul University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Illinois State University, and Northern Illinois University. Her specific expertise lies in workforce development, leadership development, and various aspects of student affairs across academic credit, non-credit, and youth environments.

In her current capacity, Ms. Kuglin Seago is dedicated to cultivating and expanding workforce development through apprenticeships. She has successfully designed short-term training programs, supported the implementation of stackable credentials, and facilitated professional development experiences at the College of DuPage to address regional industry needs. Holding a Master's degree in Educational Administration and Foundations in Higher Education from Illinois State University, Ms. Kuglin Seago brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her pivotal role in advancing work-based learning and workforce development initiatives.

Daniel Serato

Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Aon

Daniel is the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at Aon. He is responsible for creating meaningful and sustainable connections with a wide variety of stakeholders to further Aon's public service mission and community outreach activities. Daniel's responsibilities include leading US public policy and political initiatives for Aon at the federal, state, and regulatory level. Daniel is the Director of Aon's Political Action Committee and an Executive Sponsor for the Latino Professional Network within Aon. He also helped create the Chicago Apprentice Network, an employer driven initiative designed to create apprenticeship opportunities within organizations across Chicago.

Daniel was appointed to the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board by Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and sits as the chair of the Apprentice Illinois Committee, which is focused on growth of apprenticeship programs in Illinois.

Among civic leadership roles, Daniel is the Treasurer for the Chicagoland Chamber PAC, serves on the JDRF Illinois Chapter Board, is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago of 2024, and a graduate of the Edgar Fellows program class of 2022. 

Daniel has a degree in Political Science from Bradley University and resides in Libertyville Illinois with his wife Chloe and two son's Dean (7) and Owen (5).​​


Located near the Tinley Park Convention Center, a hotel block has been reserved at the Wingate by Wyndham Tinley Park, 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477​,  for conference participants. The guaranteed rate for the hotel block is $105.99 plus tax. The group code is “061724ISB”and can be used to book reservation online through the hotel's website by clicking this link: ISBE Career Connections Conference Hotel Block.​ The deadline to reserve a room at this rate is May 28, 2024.​​​

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