Krista Williford and Victoria Crespo, two of our high school student national officers, took part in a conference call with the White House on September 17 with Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett. SkillsUSA was invited to be on the call from a youth policy perspective to discuss the president’s policy and legislative agenda for this fall.
- On September 7, three representatives of organized labor met with us here at the national center. The thrust of the meeting was to explore ways the AFL-CIO and SkillsUSA could be working together more closely, particularly, in image building for the skilled trades and recruitment of our students into apprenticeships. As they said: “These are the people we want to hire.” Leading the meeting was Robert J. Pleasure, special assistant to the president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. He was joined by Eric L. Packard, training specialist with the UA (United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters) and our old friend, Rick Sullivan, from the Ironworkers. The meeting began with a presentation by two of our national student officers, Robin Cronbaugh, Region V vice president, and Sam Soto, college/postsecondary president.
- The National Coordinating Council for the Career and Technical Student Organizations met in Reston, Va. on September 15. Included with the regular business meeting was a special presentation on social networking called “socialnomics.” We know that as student organizations, we have a lot to consider with social networking as a way to reach students, but also to protect our brand. It was a great presentation by ACTE (Association for Career and Technical Education) and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). Other SkillsUSA staff attended the session as well.
- We’re working on our Vision 2020 goal of reaching one million people per year. I spoke recently with Richard Grimsley of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Rosanne White of the Technology Student Organization about marketing for Engineering Alliance (EA). PLTW has a goal of reaching into 15,000 middle and high schools by 2015. If EA takes off, SkillsUSA will be connected to those schools too.
- On September 10, YDF member Bill Maddox of N.E.W. took a group of our staff members to a Washington Nationals baseball game, and we got to watch from the N.E.W. suite at the ballpark. Bill is looking to secure the box for next season to offer it as a SkillsUSA membership mega prize.
- The SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year dinner is shaping up nicely and the pledges are coming in. The award is going to be special too. The design is based on the SkillsUSA Championships gold medallion. I’m looking forward to the presentation.
- SkillsUSA WorldTeam is coming together as well. Our goal is to compete in 20 contests, so that means 22 students will fill out the team for 2011. We have 16 selected thus far. News releases should be going out by early October.
- Staff reports alumni membership has now reached 17,000 and four states – New York, Texas, Maine and Ohio – have held meetings to establish state alumni associations.
- Staff reports that the Work Force Ready System Web site had been updated and made more customer-friendly. He says several states have inquired about state purchases of assessments for both pre- and post-testing and that we’re now offering more extensive state reporting.
- And, we just finished the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), and it was a huge success. We had about 240 people registered including 151 student leaders, 73 instructors and 12 SkillsUSA state association directors. Board President Russ Hoffbauer joined the national officers and me on visits in Washington. I’ll be reporting more extensively about WLTI next time.
SkillsUSA is pleased to announce a continuing partnership with Lowe’s. As part of their overall grant to SkillsUSA, Lowe’s will be awarding grants to local chapters of up to $10,000 each for community service projects or campus improvement projects conducted during 2011.
Schools can apply for grants as a whole school, or as an individual training program. Schools may also team up with another SkillsUSA chapter at a different school on a larger project.
There are three grant categories:
- Community Service Grants to improve an aspect of your local community
- Campus Improvement Grants to enhance your school campus or technical lab
- CareerSafe Online training vouchers to promote safety among technical students
To see projects that have been successfully funded over the past several years, visit the Lowe’s Web page (link below) for project summaries. Lowe’s will be reviewing the top applications as selected by a SkillsUSA staff committee and selecting the schools to receive the funds.
Grant applications must be submitted by December 1, 2010. Notification of successful applicants will be in February 2011. Projects may be done during the spring or fall semesters in 2011 and must be completed by November 30, 2011.
If you have questions on the program, please contact Lowe’s grants manager Carol Lowery at 641-512-0504 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and to reach the online application, go to:
The fourth year of training for the State Certified Training program is scheduled for October 24-25 in Oklahoma City, Okla. at the Cambria Suites, Oklahoma City Airport. Participants/states will be responsible for all travel expenses (airline and ground transportation) and incidental hotel expenses. SkillsUSA will cover hotel expenses (room and tax), meal expenses during the training and all training materials.
To participate in this program, state association directors must nominate one or two individuals from their states. The candidates selected should possess teaching or training experience at the high school/college/postsecondary level; have used the PDP and/or CSEP curriculum in the classroom; be an active participant/advisor in local SkillsUSA chapter activities; and, be able to maintain a flexible schedule so as to assist with state director training needs.
During the training, participants will receive the 2011-12 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, the SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook, the ASK CD and much more. The training will include a notebook and a CD with information about chapter management, integration of employability skills, fundraising, managing a local/regional contest and other SkillsUSA resources.
Following the training, participants must use the information received and act as primary trainers in state trainer seminars. The final step in the process is to officially register as a state certified trainer and submit a yearly schedule and report of training to the national office. Update training sessions will be scheduled each year; and, to maintain certification, trainers must attend an update training session at least once every three years.
Please submit your nominations (name, school, address, phone number and e-mail) to Deb Tripp at email@example.com no later than October 5 for the October 24-25, 2010 session.
The State Farm Service-Learning Champion Award (http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/community/education/slchampion_award.asp) recognizes a business leader, community member or public official who has a passion for engaging youth in service-learning. The recipient of the State Farm Service-Learning Champion Award is announced at the annual National Service-Learning Conference, which will be held April 6-9, 2011 in Atlanta. Nominations for the award open September 1, 2010 and close November 1, 2010. For more information, contact Marcie McDonald, Education Leadership Team, State Farm Public Affairs at 309-766-0919. Marcie’s e-mail is: Marcie.firstname.lastname@example.org.