- On April 16, I went to Hershey, Pennsylvania where I had a great time at the 44th annual SkillsUSA Pennsylvania State Conference. State Association Director Jeri Widdowson told me this was the largest conference held in the state since she became director. There were 1,400 registrants, but with volunteers she’s estimating there were 2,000 people in attendance. They had great competitions and some wonderful teachers. I shook hands with every medalist, and I also had a chance to visit with another champion, board of directors member, Gerald Tylka.
- There’s a lot of movement in career and technical education (CTE) to capture a common vision of the role played by CTE in education and preparation for employment. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of discussion that education, as a whole, should start to take on more aspects of CTE. That means students should be “college ready” (not requiring remediation at the postsecondary level) and “career ready” among many other things. The National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has released a vision paper for the field, and I believe it is worthy of a great deal of discussion. The link to read it is http://careertech.org/show/new_vision.
- The week of April 12th, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released a two-page definition of “Career Ready.” They say career readiness involves three major skill areas: academic skills (and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations), employability skills and technical, job-specific skills. It’s an excellent addition to the discussion and certainly makes the case for CTE’s role in education overall, and by inference, the value of the student organizations. To give it a review, just click on http://acteonline.org/uploadedFiles/Publications_and_Online_Media/files/Career_Readiness_Paper.pdf.
Again, there will be a blood drive this year as part of the National Leadership and Skills Conference. The drive will be sponsored by the Kansas City Community Blood Center and held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Bartle Hall, Room 2105 on Friday, June 25. Blood collected will be used in the Kansas City community, and they are very much in need of donations. At last year’s blood drive, 38 donors registered to try to donate and 24 pints were collected. There were 33 first time donors.
Note: Donors must weigh no less than 115 lbs and must be at least 17 years of age (or a donor can be 16 years of age with written parental permission).
So, whether you are involved in the Timberland community service event or the 5K Champions Run or another activity on Friday, please try to take the time during the day to stop by when you can and participate in this worthy cause and help save a life. Appointments can be made ahead of time at www.esavealifenow.org.
Please don’t forget to register for State Officer 101/201 and Advisor Training by the June 1 deadline. The 101 training is designed for high school students who are officers of their state associations and for students who are interested in becoming state officers. The 201 training is designated for college/postsecondary students who are officers of their state associations and for high school officers who have already attended 101 training. Advisors can also benefit from new advisor training that addresses the challenges of advising student leaders and how to effectively run your chapter.
The training will be held June 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center. Registration is available at www.skillsusa.org/educators/101reg.shtml. If you have questions about the training, please contact Deb Tripp at email@example.com.
This year’s NLSC entertainment activities/locations have been posted on our Web page. To view the options, schedules and prices, please go to www.skillsusa.org/events/entertainment.shtml.
SkillsUSA is moving forward with plans to enter as many as 20 competitors in the 2011 WorldSkills Competition (WSC), contingent upon financial support. To date, five competitors have been selected to compete in Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology, Cabinetmaking, Car Painting and Cooking. To have adequate time for training and preparation of the team members, competitors will be selected from the 2009 SkillsUSA Championships. This will begin the new process of selecting the WorldTeam members more than one year in advance. Competitors for the 2013 WSC competitions in Germany will be selected from the 2010 and 2011 national competitions. For information on SkillsUSA’s participation in the WSC, please visit www. skillsusa.org/compete/worldteam.shtml. Photos and information regarding the competitors and sponsors to date will be posted soon.
The next WorldSkills Competitions will be held October 5-8, 2011 and will be conducted at the ExCeL London Exhibition and Conference center in England. The event will see almost 1,200 competitors from 52 countries compete in skills ranging from Landscape Gardening, IT Cabling, Wall and Floor Tiling to Restaurant Service, Mechanical Engineering Design and Floristry. Planning is underway and specific information regarding the program, schedules, housing, etc., will be posted on the WorldSkills London 2011 Web site, www.worldskillslondon2011.com as it becomes available.
SkillsUSA has contracted with Jon C. Gonzalez to serve as WorldTeam National Fundraiser. Jon is president and CEO of DC Charity Events and a former Wall Street investment advisor. Jon has extensive fund raising and special event experience as well as fund-raising course work from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He will be working closely with Eric Gearhart and Ada Kranenberg to coordinate fund-raising efforts supporting SkillsUSA’s WorldTeam 2011.
Jon’s work should not be confused with the CEO Champion of the Year fund-raising dinner to be conducted in New York City in October. That effort seeks to raise unrestricted dollars for SkillsUSA’s mission.
Don Hatton will continue to serve as the Technical Delegate to WorldSkills International for the United States and Ada Kranenberg has returned as our Official Delegate to WorldSkills International. Mark Claypool will repeat his volunteer role as Team Leader.
SkillsUSA welcomes the following associations to this year’s NLSC: National Robotics League (NRL), Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences (ASTS), Automotive Service Association (ASA) and National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). While supporting various aspects of the SkillsUSA conference, ASTS, NATEF and ASA will all hold association planning meetings as part of the week of conference.
NRL will be conducting its national robotics competition, scheduled for the Crown Center Exhibit hall connected to the Hyatt Crown Center. To get more information on this event, visit www.gonrl.org. The schedule of competition activities can be found along with more information on the robotics league.
The new location for Champions Festival will be in the Living Room of the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City. The event is scheduled from 7-10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, and is the first official overall conference event of the week. State delegations are encouraged to arrive at Power & Light (P&L) early enough to have dinner and tour the district before the start of the festival. Bus transportation will be provided from all outlying hotels beginning at 5 p.m. No transportation will be provided from the downtown hotels (Marriott, Hilton President, Aladdin Holiday Inn, etc.) since they are within walking distance of the P&L. As with all SkillsUSA events, the shuttle buses will operate throughout the event to and from hotels and downtown.
In addition, Lucky Strike Bowling Alley Center is offering a greatly reduced special exclusively for SkillsUSA members during the Festival. For just $7.95, SkillsUSA guests can bowl one game, shoes included, and receive a choice of an entrée and soft drink from 7-10 p.m. (Lucky Strike is connected to the Living Room of P&L.) More information will be mailed to state directors about this special offer.
The required dress code for admittance to the Champions Festival for all attendees is a state SkillsUSA shirt (polo, tee shirt or similar) and comfortable shorts or pants. This is a private event, and security will be instructed not to admit anyone without the official conference nametag and the required clothing. Carhartt, Pepsi and the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association will sponsor the Champions Festival.
During the NLSC in Kansas City, West 12th Street remains under renovation; but, unlike last year, the bridge is partially in operation leading to Kemper Arena. It is strongly recommended, however, for those driving to Kemper for general sessions and contest observations, to please use the detour route found at the following link: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscdir.shtml
This video clip was shared with us from Mr. Ryan Eubank at Willoughby/Eastlake Tech Center in Ohio.
A big congratulations to them on this news story and on the community service projects they are engaged in as a part of their welding class and SkillsUSA chapter. I am so impressed with the project, but even more impressed with each and every student in the news story. They were extremely professional and very well-spoken and all are to be commended for how they carried themselves during the interview.
The concept of service to others is very powerful and I am thrilled that the students at Willoughby Tech are so involved. Check out the video here: www.wkyc.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=79246703001.