There is a great deal going on here, but almost all of it is moving so think of this as the motion-capture edition of SkillsUSA events as they race by toward completion.
We had a good Webcast on February 10 in celebration of SkillsUSA Week, and it is archived at http://web.ganconference.com/?meeting=3913885. It contains lots of good information on the state of SkillsUSA including some of our advocacy with the Obama administration and instruction on using the SkillsUSA advocacy site to write to Congress among other things. We sent out an e-mail to our active advisor list wishing them a happy SkillsUSA week and giving them a link to the 30-minute Webcast.
We’ve had three good conference calls with Lowe’s recently. One focused on Lowe’s hiring SkillsUSA graduates including use of the N.E.W. job board on the SkillsUSA Web site. Another call revolved around support of the National Leadership and Skills Conference and the third was on the new sustainability competition.
On February 19, I had a promising meeting with the president/CEO of K2Share, the company that manages CareerSafe, the online OSHA 10-hour card training and testing system. Larry Teverbaugh’s company makes a donation to SkillsUSA for every student who signs up for CareerSafe, and Larry is looking for ways to increase his financial support for SkillsUSA.
On Monday, February 23, I joined some other staff members for a visit at the Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor. We reported on progress of the Work Force Ready System and on the vulnerable community pilot sites under Champions for Change. We were joined by Kisha Ajose from the Miami Job Corps Center and by Dave Daly and Rick Gonzalez from ASTRACOR in Alexandria. I also met with Esther Johnson, national director of Job Corps, and she got a clear picture on how SkillsUSA can meet the needs of Job Corps sites.
On March 5, we’ll have a meeting of the new ambassadors for SkillsUSA—top-level executives who will help build our corporate networking so we can reach higher levels of funding. The work of the ambassadors will be a big topic for the Youth Development Foundation when we’re at Toyota in California later in March.