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Champion of the Year Report

November 15th, 2011

SkillsUSA’s second Champion of the Year dinner went very well. The Champion of the Year award is given by SkillsUSA to honor the leadership of a corporate chief executive doing exemplary work in the creation and promotion of America’s highly skilled workforce. The award also recognizes the honoree for the corporation’s involvement in promoting and supporting career and technical education (CTE).

Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. received the 2011 SkillsUSA Champion of the Year award on November 4, during a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Representatives from 36 corporations and organizations attended the event. A big thank you to the following state association directors for attending and bringing students to participate – Bruce Potter (New York), Heidi Balch (Connecticut), Pete Carey (New Jersey) and Karen Ward (Massachusetts). For photos and additional information, go to:

Efforts for Perkins Paying Off; Still Work To Do

November 15th, 2011

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have released their allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. Due to the advocacy efforts of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), NASDCTEc and the entire CTE field, Perkins funding has been maintained in both bills. This is a great victory for the CTE community. However, level-funding for Perkins is not “in the bag,” according to ACTE. Negotiations on how to complete work on the appropriations bills are still taking place and we have to remind Congress how crucial Perkins funds are to our students, communities and businesses.

Read the full message by going to the SkillsUSA advocacy site, and we encourage you to send a letter to your senators and representative. Log on to the SkillsUSA advocacy and legislative website. Fill in your zip code and then click on compose your own message, and please construct a letter to send to your senators and representative to encourage their support of Perkins and other education and workforce programs.

Scholarship Opportunities

November 14th, 2011

There are several scholarships opportunities available for students on the SkillsUSA website. Please pass the word.

National Technical Honor Society Scholarship (four @ $1,000 each) – Deadline, April 1, 2012 – go to:

Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship ($500) – Deadline, April 30, 2012 – go to:

Alumni Merit Scholarship (two @ $500 each) – Deadline, May 15, 2012 – go to:

Alumni Coordinating Committee Nominations

November 14th, 2011

SkillsUSA is seeking alumni leaders to serve on the national Alumni Coordinating Committee for the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association. Applications are now being accepted for the following positions: Executive Chair, Region 2 and Region 4. These are two-year terms beginning July 1, 2012. We encourage you to nominate any former SkillsUSA member who is registered as an alumni member.

To complete an online nomination form or to download and print a form, go to:

The completed form is due to Niki Clausen in the national office by April 15, 2012. If you have any questions, please contact her at 703-737-0639 or by email to

SkillsUSA WorldTeam Report

November 1st, 2011

I am extremely proud of every student on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The team represented SkillsUSA and the United States of America very well in London. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the WorldTeam coverage, the link is:

I want to extend a special thank you to Lowe’s as the anchor sponsor for the SkillsUSA WorldTeam and to all of the other businesses and unions that supported our competitors. And, a big thank you goes to board president Russ Hoffbauer from State Farm and secretary and chair of the Youth Development Foundation Committee, Greg Rintala from Snap-on Industrial, for their participation with the WorldTeam. It was great having them in London and participating in the team recognition dinner and several other WorldSkills activities.

I do have a nice addition to the CBS story. Board member, Joe Pietrantonio from Air Products, emailed me on October 13, that the young welder interviewed at the beginning of the segment is not only an Air Products employee, he’s also a SkillsUSA alumnus. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the segment, it’s archived at:;contentBody

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