SkillsUSA is pleased to announce we have added the American Express card as a form of payment for any purchases with SkillsUSA. The American Express card can also be used for donations to our Youth Development Foundation.
There are few times during the annual SkillsUSA calendar that are more exciting and full of promise than right now. The new national officers for 2009-10 were in town for training this week preparing for their new roles and what’s ahead of them this coming year. The Training, Membership and Programs staff members worked with them. Yesterday, the officers visited the National Leadership Center to meet and talk with the full staff. We look forward to teaching and learning from these outstanding students and elected officers every year.
Preparations are underway for the state association directors’ meeting and the board meeting in Charleston, South Carolina August 11-16. The state directors have put together quite a series of seminars for both new and seasoned directors. I believe all of the best practices sessions are set at 45 minutes each so it’ll be an active get-together. Topics included in the 14 different sessions are advisor training, state conference scoring, managing SkillsUSA inside and outside departments of education and diversity/culture sensitivity. Curtis Barnett will preside as the new chair of the SkillsUSA State Directors Association. It should be a great conference.
We’re also putting together reports for the year and agenda items for the board meeting on the 16th. This will be the first time we’ve produced an electronic board reading file. We look forward to having our new board members with us, and this will be the first board meeting conducted by newly elected Board President, Julie Yeater. Thanks go to Jackie Clarkson, South Carolina state association director, for helping us pull everything together.
I guess we know we’re doing something important with the Work Force Ready System if it seems every association wants to get involved. In the last several weeks, we’ve had meeting after meeting with trade association and industry groups that want to co-brand or be involved in some other way in our assessments.
We have survey results back from the Work Force Ready System demonstration booth at conference. Over 500 instructors came by and gave the assessments a test drive. Over 325 completed a survey after their experience, and we received some encouraging comments and some great statistics. Here’s just one: “Would you recommend purchasing this assessment over other product offerings you know of in the market? Of all respondents, 88 percent said yes, they would.
We’ve held meetings with E group, our new official supplier for the SkillsUSA Store including review of new products and plans for the introduction of the SkillsUSA Store to members and to state association directors. There will be a display of merchandise in Charleston and a presentation by E group. They’ll also have a strong presence during the Washington Leadership Training Institute in September.
A letter requesting a WorldTeam meeting with Vice President Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, was sent late last week. The team is scheduled to be in Washington on August 28, and we hope we can create some sort of Washington event for the team members before they head to Calgary. Trade press news releases on each of the contestants will be sent out next week.
Letters to Congress and the governors about their SkillsUSA Championships champions and Skill Point Certificate recipients are being faxed starting this week. This means that, for the first time the senators and representatives will receive the news before the congressional August recess. News releases about the national officers and the President’s Volunteer Service Award recipients have also been sent.
Diversity training for national staff is scheduled in September and October and staff has completed work on third-party administration for SkillsUSA pension funds as required by the IRS for nonprofits.
And, finally, Cameron Ferguson, as board past-president, sent an e-mail to national staff members last week commending them for their work on the National Leadership and Skills Conference. Here’s part of what he had to say: “Everywhere I went, I heard comments about how smoothly it was running, and how the enthusiasm was running at an all time high. The results of your hard work and passion were absolutely evident for all to see. The visitors I brought to Kansas City were totally stunned by what they saw and heard. They couldn’t believe the professionalism of the students, the breadth and depth of the competitions, the scope of the organization, and dedication of the volunteers, advisors, and the national staff.” Thank you, Cameron. I know the staff appreciates your comments and your leadership as well.
The SkillsUSA Championships theme for the 2009-2010 school year is “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work – Connecting the Opportunities.” This is the theme for the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board contests.
Within this topic, contestants might illustrate or discuss any of the following:
How SkillsUSA’s professional development opportunities motivate students to be the best they can be in their technical skill development and in their personal and professional development.
How members grow professionally by connecting with educators, community leaders, and business and industry representatives. SkillsUSA connects students to education and employment opportunities.
How students attending SkillsUSA leadership conferences and competitions develop professionally as they make connections with other students having similar interests. Through SkillsUSA, they network across their state, region and the nation.
How SkillsUSA provides opportunities for students to participate in a balanced program of work in which they can practice and demonstrate leadership, technical skills, teamwork, team building, creativity and management.
How SkillsUSA increases productivity by cultivating a highly skilled and knowledgeable work force to meet 21st century needs.
How SkillsUSA is the national organization for public high school and college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in trade, technical and skilled service profession instructional programs including allied health occupations.
How SkillsUSA participation prepares each member for entry into the work force.
How each SkillsUSA member can demonstrate excellence in career and technical education.
How SkillsUSA represents 130 different occupational areas in its affiliated instructional programs and more than 300,000 high school and college/postsecondary members nationwide.
If you attended the 2009 National Leadership and Skills Conference (including the SkillsUSA Championships) in June, we would like your feedback concerning the quality of your experience in Kansas City.
Please take a few minutes to complete our survey at the link below. All feedback is used for program improvement.
To take the survey, please go to www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscsurvey.shtml.
The following was announced in the July 15 issue of Executive Update with an error. The state association director liaison is Dara Dubois. The corrected 2009-10 alumni coordinating committee team is:
Executive Chair: George Laubmeier, Wis.
Executive Secretary: Brittani Cockayne, Maine
Region 1 Representative: Kristen Smith, R.I.
Region 2 Representative: Albert Rice, Ark.
Region 3 Representative: Peggy Plowman, Mich.
Region 4 Representative: Brice Harader-Pate, Okla.
Region 5 Representative: Jessica Lueck, Wash.
State Association Director Liaison: Dara Dubois, Calif.
To contact your regional representative, go to: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/alumnicoord.shtml.