- On Wednesday, December 9, several staff members rolled up their sleeves and put on their reading glasses to help review the hundreds of Lowe’s and State Farm grant applications for community and campus improvements and sustainability projects. Finalist selections were sent to Lowe’s and State Farm last Thursday. We’re looking forward to announcing the grants in January (State Farm) and February (Lowe’s).
- Thanks to board members Curtis Barnett, Moe Broom, John Gaal and Larry Rabalais who joined a conference call to work on NLSC hotel lottery issues on December 10. Also on December 10, we had an all day meeting with intelitek to discuss marketing strategy for the Skill Connect assessments. Board member Greg Rintala flew in to be a part of the meeting.
- As I mentioned previously, Jackie Parker of Newell Rubbermaid worked with our Inclusion and Diversity Committee at the end of November. Due to that work, the committee has created a new statement on inclusion and diversity for SkillsUSA: “In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in work force development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities.”
- Staff attended the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Conference in Chicago, December 7-9, to exhibit the Work Force Ready System. More than 600 people attended – an increase from last year – with representatives from 33 states and 2 territories. This was our first time at this conference for the people who run programs such as Job Corps. They report they had quality conversations with some strong potential leads.
- Staff attended the Georgia Fall Leadership Conference for Postsecondary in Atlanta in late November. It was reported that 600 people attended, half of them SkillsUSA members, and that Cassie Palmer did a great job managing the conference. Staff also said that because Commissioner Jackson was so impressed by our national conference in Kansas City this year she’s endorsed SkillsUSA in Georgia and is promoting SkillsUSA membership in the colleges.
- This coming March, SkillsUSA will be helping Skills Canada to conduct its first leadership institute to mirror what we do in leadership training at the national conference. This is coming about in part at the request of Lowe’s which is supporting Skills Canada and would like the association to move beyond only contests in its program.
- Staff reports that sales are up for the revised levels one and two of the Professional Development Program Online “and usage is way up.”
- And, all the updated computers are installed (so staff using PCs are happier about that), warmer weather and programmable thermostats are making a positive change in our heating bills (and staff is warm and happy about that), and on Friday we went to Mount Vernon for our annual SkillsUSA Holiday Celebration. It was cold, but we were all together and honored several staff members for their service, so staff is happy about that too.
Tags: Diversity, Highlights, Lowe's Grants, NLSC, Partner News, Professional Development Program, Skill Connect Assessments, State Conferences, State Farm Grants, Work Force Ready System