- Membership is still coming in at a good rate. As of last Friday, February 25, we were at 285,304 and processing vigorously. This number puts us at 1,093 members ahead of last year’s same day total. All of the snow here in the area recently has caused us to close the office for three days and created a paper jam. Staff has been working to catch up with the backlog.
- I surveyed the state association directors on extending the national membership deadline by one week to March 8 in light of bad weather and school closings all over the country. Every director who replied (and it was a majority) said it was fine by him or her as long as it didn’t affect state deadlines; so, we’re good to go.
- Gerald Tylka, the corporate member from Pennsylvania, has agreed to stand as a candidate from Region I to replace Holly Harriel on SkillsUSA’s Board of Directors. Background information has been sent to the board and they have been asked to approve the appointment until the June conference.
- Fred Smith – a nationally recognized expert – conducted two excellent inclusion and diversity workshops with the entire staff on February 17. He seemed as impressed by SkillsUSA and its staff as he impressed us. One of the points he really highlighted, once he know more about the work of SkillsUSA, was the importance of inclusion to corporations and how corporate underwriting often hinges on exactly the kinds of things SkillsUSA is doing in communities across the country. Thanks go to Jackie Parker of Newell Rubbermaid for making Fred Smith’s visit to us possible.
- During the past several weeks, we’ve been speaking with one association and two businesses about licensing opportunities for the Skill Connect Assessments, the Professional Development Program and/or the Career Skills Education Program. They all appear to be good partnership opportunities that have potential to drive revenue opportunities for the work of SkillsUSA.
- Finally, in light of both Vision 2020 and our current budget, I’m pleased to announce that we’ve received over $44,000 worth of software from Microsoft to update all kinds of things from our operating system to our server and much more. SkillsUSA’s cost? That was $1,800. Thanks go to staff for knowing who to ask and when to ask that resulted in saving SkillsUSA over $42,000 and moving us into the 21st century at the same time.
Today, March 1, SkillsUSA is announcing the Engineering Alliance in conjunction with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and the Technology Student Association (TSA). Engineering Alliance has been created at the request of PLTW, its instructors and state departments of education. Engineering Alliance draws upon the expertise of TSA and SkillsUSA in leadership instruction and competitions to benefit PLTW instruction.
Simply stated, PLTW saw the value of our employability skills instruction and competitive events and wanted to add them into the PLTW curriculum for pre-engineering students and teachers.
Engineering Alliance (EA) does not include membership in TSA or SkillsUSA but it doesn’t preclude it either. PLTW programs are encouraged to join either organization as members if they wish to take the competition and leadership experience beyond the local level. Engineering Alliance is an affiliation; it’s not a membership program. It’s similar to a classroom subscription. PLTW programs can sign up for online services including leadership activities and competitions designed specifically for their instructional programs. These services are delivered directly from the national level to the classrooms. Competitions are to be conducted at the classroom level only. They do not have district or state-level components.
The news release announcing Engineering Alliance has been sent to the education news media today and is posted at www.skillsusa.org/about/news.shtml. The link to the Engineering Alliance Web site is live. Go to www.EngineeringAlliance.org.
Thank you in advance for your support of Engineering Alliance. SkillsUSA hopes that this is one more step in its mission of lifting up students, teachers and CTE.
The 2010 SkillsUSA and Lowe’s community service and campus improvement grants were recently announced. Congratulations to all successful applicants.
Community Service: Alabama – Muscle Shoals Center for Technology; Arkansas – Har-Ber High School; Colorado – Florence High School; Indiana – Four County Area Vocational Cooperative; Kansas – Broadmoor Technical School; Kentucky – Sullivan College of Technology and Design; Missouri – Current River Career Center; Nebraska – Metropolitan Community College; New Jersey – John Dwyer Technology Academy; New Mexico – New Mexico State University Grants; North Carolina – NF Woods Advanced Technology and Arts Center; Oklahoma – Kiamichi Technology Center Poteau; Tennessee – Tennessee Technology Center Dickenson, Tennessee Technology Center Huntsville, Tennessee Technology Center Tri County Extension Campus; Texas – St. Phillip’s College SWC Campus; Virginia – Rockbridge County High School.
Campus Improvement: Alabama – Enterprise High School; Arizona – Yuma High School; California – Abram Friedman Occupational Center, Ramona High School, San Bernadino Valley College; Georgia – DeKalb High School of Technology South; Kansas – Coffeyville Community College; Maine – Lewiston Regional Technical Center; Minnesota – Dakota County Technical College; Missouri – Grand River Technical School; North Carolina – Pine Forest High School; Ohio – Cuyahoga Valley Career Center; Oklahoma – Wes Watkins Technology Center; Pennsylvania – Huntington County Career and Technology Center; Tennessee – Tennessee Technology Center Hohenwald; Virginia – Massanutten Technology Center, Dickenson County Career Center.
Attention state association directors…We continue to work hard to improve the National Courtesy Corps (NCC) experience at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). However, we need your help to make this all work. Missouri has committed 85 of the 150 members we need for 2010. The remaining number will come from the rest of the states. Last year, we only received about 30 members from outside of Missouri.
As you know, the NCC is an important part of the success of the NLSC. If you have members who have been part of the NCC, please have them continue. If you don’t, please encourage them to become a part of this special group. Below are some of the changes for 2010.
- This year, we will not start the move into Bartle Hall until Thursday evening. Because of this, we will need the help of the Courtesy Corps sooner. Therefore, we are asking the members to arrive on Saturday (6/19/10) by 5:00 pm so they can start to work on the floor of Bartle Hall on Sunday (6/20/10).
- Last year, we had for the first time a team of Massachusetts students who were part of the National Courtesy Corps doing research at NLSC. The data we collected was very useful to SkillsUSA. Again, we will need eight students with good communication skills to be part of this survey team. If you have students who may be interested, please contact Bruce Potter.
- All NCC participants will be housed at Park University Campus in Parkville, Mo. This campus is about 12-15 minutes away from Bartle Hall, and traffic is not heavy en route.
- This year, we will enlist the help of our adult NCC participants by assigning them duties and responsibilities as they work with the students. For these advisors, there will be a session to review their duties and responsibilities as they work with the students.
- We will develop an individual schedule for each student and advisor listing work assignments, breaks, free time and other items that go along with their time at the conference.
- Dorothy Loges from Missouri will serve as the NCC chair again, and we look forward to working with her.
If you have any questions, please contact Bruce Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-737-0638.
SkillsUSA held a national Web conference on Feb. 25, 2010 to kick off the new ASK CD-ROM and present several other programs.
If you missed it, you can see and hear the archived version here.
Note: please allow time to load.
Due to the severe weather this week, schools have been closed and the national office has been closed as well. Because of the resulting delays and rescheduling, National SkillsUSA will extend its membership deadline one week from March 1 to March 8. This is for the national deadline only. State deadlines remain as previously posted.
SkillsUSA will be holding a live teacher event at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center on March 10th at 3 p.m. (EST).
The event will be held to announce the release of the new ASK: Advisor’s Success Kit and the newly updated PDP Online. Attendees at the teacher meeting at the National Leadership Center will receive a free copy of the new ASK: Advisor’s Success Kit and other SkillsUSA materials (total value of $50 or more). Tim Lawrence will give a SkillsUSA organization update, and members of the SkillsUSA training team will also update teachers on various SkillsUSA resources.
All state directors and instructors are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Niki Clausen at email@example.com.