The final membership number is 307,052! This is the highest in the history of the organization. The 2008-09 membership report has just been published and has been mailed to all state association directors. Thanks again for making our best membership year ever a reality!
The week of April 27 brought an end to my state spring conference tour, and I finished on two high notes in Wisconsin and Ohio. The Wisconsin conference opening ceremony was held in cooperation with HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America). Registration was up over last year, and there was a lot of business support. As a matter of fact, I believe every contest was run by industry. There were 2,000 members at an efficient and quickly run awards ceremony. Using the theme, “Membership Makes Us Strong,” Wisconsin’s membership is up 17 percent this year. Congratulations to Brent Kindred, Lauri Domer and Dale Drees for a great conference. It was also great to see Peggy Plowman of Michigan at the conference working on building the alumni association.
The Ohio conference is always a big event. The conference is now filling all of the major buildings at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. State association director Mike Cowles hosted lots of VIPs this year from the Department of Education, the mayor’s office, the National Guard, and Lowe’s store managers from around the district. Mike has adopted the national model for VIPs by holding VIP tours during the morning of the championships followed by a luncheon. One of the “firsts” during this year’s conference was the election of the first college/postsecondary president in Ohio history. Congratulations to Mike and his team for an outstanding conference.
- Beginning with the summer issue, award-winning SkillsUSA Champions magazine is now an “e-zine” in addition to its print edition. The digital publication looks just like its print twin. The reader can even “flip” the pages. Web links and e-mail links are active, and we can also embed video. To give it a review, go to www.skillsusa.org/champions/.
- Things are moving right along on the WorldSkills Competition (WSC) and on SkillsUSA WorldTeam. On the evening of April 28, I hosted a one-hour Web conference with 15 of our WSC experts who will be the advisors for WorldTeam members and then judges during the event in Calgary. We have several new representatives and trainers. Don Hatton led the call. Information on the team is online at www.skillsusa.org/compete/worldteam.shtml, and we have a brand new Web site to help build awareness – and we hope raise some money – through social networking at www.everydayrealheroes.org. Thanks go to staff for leading the “everyday heroes” initiative.
- Tim Zilke, executive director of ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and staff members came by the office for a meeting on April 28 to discuss marketing for the new National Automotive Student Skills Standards Assessment (NA3SA) to the transportation cluster. ASE opened the test window in mid-March and has already sold over 5,000 assessments which is ahead of expectations. We’ve been promoting NA3SA along with the Work Force Ready System, and now we’re discussing several more strategies. Here’s the link to NA3SA: www.NA3SA.com.
- On April 29, staff and I met with Ralph Nappi, president, NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and Eileen Cassidy, director, GAERF (Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation) to discuss the Work Force Ready System, and our graphic communications assessment, in particular. We’re currently exploring the possibility of having our assessment lead directly into the PrintED certification program.
- Another meeting last week was with Gerard Katz, president, National Foundation for Energy Conservation. We’re looking into a partnership to support student activities and competitions that support energy conservation.
- Thanks to Youth Development Foundation member Kelly Persons of Lowe’s, I was part of a conference call with Pam Koner, founder of a charitable organization called Family-to-Family. The organization connects “families with more with families with less” and we’ve agreed that SkillsUSA will become a resource by posting her organization on our Web site for chapters to consider when planning community service activities. By the way, Pam will be featured on Larry King Live and be recognized as a CNN Hero within the next few weeks, so you just might be hearing more about her and Family-to-Family.
- We have been getting questions on the Flu pandemic and whether or not it will close down the national conference. I understand and appreciate the calls. After all, some schools have closed. Our position is that SkillsUSA will watch for alerts from the CDC and adhere to travel restrictions. Of course, if any individual is sick, we want that individual to stay home. We have an official statement, but I hope it doesn’t have to be used much, especially since the issue is now.
We have posted many SkillsUSA Championships contest updates on our Web page. To view them, please visit www.skillsusa.org/compete/updates.shtml and make sure the information gets to the national competitors. There aren’t updates in every contest; just in some. If new information is presented about a contest, the information can be critical to a student’s competition.
We ask the technical committees to complete contest updates by June 1 so the students can prepare. If they do add or change anything after June 1, we mail the information directly to the competitors. So, after June 1, please make sure the advisors inform their students to pay attention to their mail.
Bosch Power Tools will once again help raise money for the Alumni Fund by hosting a dunk tank during the 2009 SkillsUSA National Conference. We seek state directors, state officers, state trainers, national officers or others who are well known in the SkillsUSA family who can bring out a crowd to dunk them!
The dunk tank will operate Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Bosch outdoor exhibit area. All proceeds raised by the dunk tank will benefit the Alumni Fund. Chances cost $1 a ball or 4 balls for $5. Last year, the effort raised $1,500 for the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association.
Bosch seeks willing dunkees to spend an hour in the tank, and all proceeds will be tracked by state. The state raising the most funds for the alumni will be recognized by SkillsUSA and Bosch at the August state director meeting.
Tank shifts are first-come, first-served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. Dunkees should take a swimsuit or wear clothes they do not mind getting wet. Towels will be available.
To schedule your state representative in the dunk tank, call Rebecca Langguth at Bosch at 224-232-2736 or e-mail her at Rebecca.Langguth@us.bosch.com. If you have questions for SkillsUSA on this effort, please contact Karen Perrino at 703-737-0610 or email@example.com.
Parking passes for Municipal Auditorium Garage and Cathedral Parking Garage for conference week will be sold on-site only. The cost will be $45 for Municipal and $35 for Cathedral. Passes will be on sale in Lobby 2100 (north side of 13th Street), just outside the SkillsUSA Conference offices the following days and times:
Sunday, June 21: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, June 22 : 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. A map of the immediate downtown area with other parking options will be provided there.
Please refer to the following link for more information: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscparking.shtml.
This year, we will be offering only digital copies of winners’ photos (no prints). These photos of groups of contest winners are taken back stage. There will be no charge for the photo(s). A photo order form will be distributed to winners back stage and can be downloaded from www.skillsusa.org/downloads/PDF/NLSC/photoform.pdf. For more information, contact Jane Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-737-0612.
School Video News to Include a Monthly Newsletter for Participants in SkillsUSA Electronic Communications CompetitionsMay 15th, 2009
Beginning with the June issue of School Video News and coinciding with the 2009 SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, SVN will include material created for SkillsUSA students, teachers, and advisors in a special SkillsUSA electronic communications newsletter each month. This exciting supplement will include information and articles of special interest to the Broadcast News Production, Television (Video) Production, Video Product Development, and Audio/Radio Production competition participants.
“Based on readership numbers of articles we have run about SkillsUSA, there is tremendous interest in this outstanding organization,” says John Churchman, publisher of School Video News. “As a free monthly publication devoted to students, teachers and administrators of TV/Video and Film in the K-12 and secondary school market, including a department on SkillsUSA seemed like an excellent way to deliver timely information about forthcoming SkillsUSA state and national events and competitions. Special ad-hoc notices can also be delivered via School Video News as might be required,” says Churchman.
In addition to coverage of events, SVN will feature SkillsUSA participating schools in the “school profiles” section, bringing more visibility to individual schools and their involvement in SkillsUSA. SVN and SkillsUSA will provide monthly content pertinent to SkillsUSA participants in the form of articles, winning tips and techniques, school profiles, audio and video clips, event schedules and coverage, tutorials and announcements. SkillsUSA chapters are encouraged to submit articles or announcements to email@example.com. To view the article go to: www.school-video-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=472:skillsusa-and-what-it-takes-to-be-a-winner&catid=49:competitions&Itemid=117
All registered alumni members are eligible to participate in the 2009 Alumni Coordinating Committee elections. Representatives for Regions 1, 3, and 5 will be elected on this ballot. Members residing in those regions will elect the Regional Representatives.
Ballots will be counted at the 2009 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, and results will be announced on Friday, June 26, at the Annual Alumni Luncheon.
Get the details here: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/alumni.shtml.
Members who did not receive an alumni mailing and wish to have a ballot mailed to them, please contact Karen Beatty at 703-737-0624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pass along this message and encourage all registered Alumni members to vote.