June 30th, 2009
Once again, thanks to a generous donation by Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Inc., we held a special raffle for a 2009 Dyna® Super Glide® Motorcycle at the 2009 NLSC Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 26 in Kansas City, Mo.
As a special addition to the raffle, Harley-Davidson teamed up with PPG American and Sharpe Manufacturing Company to bring Justin Barnes to Kansas city to custom-paint the bike. You may know Justin of JB Grafix from his appearances on The Discovery Channel program, American Chopper.
The winner of the custom-painted Dyna Super Glide is Kevin Miller of Senatobia, Miss. The finished bike is below.
Here is Kevin with Justin Barnes, Cheri Judkins of Harley-Davidson and me:
A drawing was also held for three prize packs provided by Sharpe Manufacturing. The following people were awarded the prize packs, valued at $2,800!
Linda Lavender of Virginia Beach, Va.
Curt Glass of Orr, Minn.
Guy Powers of Palm City, Fla.
Congratulations Kevin, Linda, Curt and Guy. And a special thank you to Harley-Davidson, Sharpe and PPG!
June 26th, 2009
Today, around 600 students are heading out into the greater Kansas City area to perform community service. It’s been a long week and Friday is their only day to rest. But instead of hanging around the pool or sleeping in, this group of SkillsUSA Champions are giving back to the community. That’s the kind of young people we have in SkillsUSA. We are grateful to Timberland PRO for leading these service projects.
SkillsUSA University will be wrapping up today and the delegates will have their last meetings and cast their final ballots for the students who will represent them on the national level in the coming year.
Tonight, it’s back to Kemper arena for the Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. We will be honored to hear from Joseph Galli, Jr., the chief executive officer for TTI. The winner of the Harley Raffle will be announced and the new national officers will be sworn in. And the National SkillsUSA Champions will receive their gold, silver and bronze medals.
Awards Ceremony tickets are available at the booth outside of 2103A in Bartle Hall and cost $10. They will also be available for purchase at Kemper Arena.
Can’t make it? You can always watch the live stream courtesy of School Video News. Details are available here.
June 25th, 2009
Today is the big day for SkillsUSA Champions from across this nation. The 2009 SkillsUSA Championships officially opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New Grand Ballroom South plaza. With 91 contests and more than 5,400 competitors, the championships encompasses Bartle Hall, its Conference Center, Municipal Auditorium, American Royal Center and downtown Marriott and Phillips hotels.
And though the leadership and some technical contests began yesterday, most will be held today. Make sure to stop by and see the contests in Municipal Auditorium and make the trip down to the American Royal Center (next to Kemper Arena) to check out the TeamWorks and Welding Fabrication contests. A free shuttle is provided, see the map in your conference program on Pages 32-33.
Don’t forget TECHSPO continues both outside and in the lobbies throughout Bartle Hall.
Tonight, make sure you head out to Worlds of Fun theme park. It’s a great way to blow off steam after a tough day of competition. Best of luck to all competitors!
June 24th, 2009
There’s a lot going on today. I’ll be meeting with advisors this morning at the Call to Action session at 8:30. Be sure to visit SkillsUSA University and don’t forget about SkillsUSA’s Amazing Race, is today from 9-noon. Details are on page 17 of the conference program.
There’s still time to register for the Champions 5K run. You have until noon today. The race is tonight at 7 p.m. in Liberty Park across from Union Station. Benefits the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association.
FInally, the Champions Festival is from 7-10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in the Exhibit Hall. All participants must wear the official conference T-shirt and appropriate casual attire suited for recreation. This will be strictly enforced, so pick up your T-shirt at the Lowe’s Pin Trading Pavilion in Municipal Auditorium. Details are available on page 15 of your conference program.
June 23rd, 2009
Things are really kicking off today at conference. Just a reminder that TECHSPO exhibits open at 9 a.m. today. Be sure to stop by the new Lowe’s Pin Trading Pavilion to swap pins with other SkillsUSA members.
This evening at 7 p.m., the conference officially begins with our Opening Ceremony at Kemper Arena. Our speakers include keynote speaker Wendy Venturini, SPEED Channel journalist and SkillsUSA alumnae. We will also hear from motivational speaker Stephen Palleta. New this year, thanks to School Video News, we will be broadcasting our Opening Ceremony live via Internet. Get the details here.
June 22nd, 2009
There’s already a lot happening at our National Conference, even though a lot of people are still getting here and registering today.
Our State Officer and Advisor 101/201 group will finish up their training sessions today. This is our biggest group ever and they are doing a wonderful job preparing to be national and state leaders.
As you may already know, the U.S. Army is a big supporter of SkillsUSA. They also have a very large space in our TECHSPO exhibits. We noticed the truck they brought to Kansas City had a great SkillsUSA promotion on the back. They drove all the way to Kansas City with this on the back of their truck. The picture is below.
June 15th, 2009
After months of planning and discussion – SkillsUSA and TSA (Technology Student Association) will be jointly establishing a program called the Engineering Alliance to Serve Project Lead The Way (PLTW) beginning this coming school year. We spoke of our decision while we were visiting with other members of the NCC-CTSO (National Coordinating Council of the Career and Technical Student Organizations) including representatives from the U.S. Department of Education. We had a very enthusiastic reaction from everyone attending the meeting and SkillsUSA and TSA look forward to serving teachers and students in pre-engineering programs in the 3,000 (and expanding number of) high schools and middle schools with PLTW. The program will provide leadership activity for local level PLTW integration and will encourage membership in SkillsUSA and TSA.
In other news from the NCC-CTSO, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Greg Cummings told us that President Obama is committed to pathways that lead students to prosperity and, in turn, will lead the nation to prosperity. He believes SkillsUSA and the other CTSOs do just that. He also said the areas the student organizations represent are areas of in-demand jobs, and he’s impressed by what the CTSOs do to give students a voice and power as well as the ability to lead. To top off the great comments in support of what we do, Deputy Assistant Secretary Cummings planned to come to Kansas City, but after looking at his schedule, he declined. He is making sure someone from the U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary’s Office will be with us, however. That’s exciting!
The CTSOs also compared notes on what’s happening with funding and support in the states. As many as six states report they’re having issues on funding for travel or continuing state-level activities. The CTSOs will be working together to overcome these issues. The up side is that nearly all of the CTSOs had increases in both membership and state conference attendance.
Check out the press release: www.skillsusa.org/about/engineeringalliance.shtml
Here is a Q&A about the Alliance: www.skillsusa.org/about/allianceqa.shtml
June 15th, 2009
IRWIN will run No. 26 IRWIN VISE-GRIP Ford Fusion, driven by Jamie McMurray, at the Toyota/SaveMart 350 in Sonoma with the SkillsUSA logo on the decklid. The race will take place on Sunday, June 21 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT)
Check it out here:
June 15th, 2009
At the national conference, the staff of SkillsUSA Champions magazine will be on the lookout for interview subjects and cover models.
If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry representative or alumnus who will be at conference and would be a great Champion to interview for our magazine, please e-mail Tom Hall (email@example.com). He’ll then set up a specific time to meet with our staff.
In addition, if your student could be a potential cover model, there are designated “photo studio” hours. Please pass these times on to your students:
- Wednesday, June 24, 1 p.m.-2 p.m., Bartle Hall, Room 2212 (near the business center between Lobbies 2200 and 2300)
- Wednesday, June 24, 8 p.m.-9 p.m., at the Champions Festival (Hyatt Regency Crown Center, near the entrance to the Exhibit Hall)
- Friday, June 26, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Bartle Hall, Room 2212
Four photos will be chosen to appear on SkillsUSA Champions covers next year. The remaining photos will appear in various materials, from the membership poster to other promotions.
Our magazine staff looks forward to meeting your Champions at conference!