- 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.
Tags: Highlights, NLSC, SkillsUSA Champions magazine, Swine Flu, Work Force Ready System, WorldSkills Competition, WorldTeam