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Alumni Pin Contest

February 15th, 2012

The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association is sponsoring a pin design contest again this year. The winning design will become the official alumni pin for the 2012 National Leadership and Skills Conference. The deadline for pin designs to be received by the national office is March 1. If you have any questions, please contact Niki Clausen at or call 703-737-0639. For more information and contest guidelines, go to:

2012 SkillsUSA University Reminder

February 15th, 2012

We are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topics to present at the 2012 SkillsUSA University in Kansas City, Mo. All sessions will take place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel or the Kansas City Convention Center on June 25, 26 and 27.

We ask instructors who would like to present to send emails with proposed topics to Deborah Tripp at

Possible topics: local chapter activities; fundraising; community service; SkillsUSA Program of Work success stories; business etiquette; communication skills for students; local industry partnerships, etc. These can be best practices (with a local advisor presenting) or an expert in the subject area. If you do not want to present, but you have suggestions for workshop topics, please feel free to forward them to us.

The deadline for proposals is February 24. For more information and a Request for Proposal (RFP), go to:

Chapter Management Institute in Leesburg, Va. Reminder

February 15th, 2012

On March 23, SkillsUSA is hosting a State Farm-sponsored Chapter Management Institute (CMI) in Leesburg, Virginia at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center from  8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CMI seminars provide instructors with the tools they need to develop, manage and advise a SkillsUSA chapter in their schools or classrooms. Participants explore the mission of SkillsUSA; learn to use the multitude of resources available and engage in hands-on activities. The training uses interactive sessions and provides answers to questions such as:

  • How do I get students involved?
  • What is the best way to organize our activities?
  • What does a chapter set out to do?
  • What is a Program of Work?
  • What materials are available to help students?

This is a must for beginning or novice advisors wanting to start a chapter or better manage an existing chapter.

As a participant in the CMI Basic Seminar, you will receive the following materials ($80 value):

  • Advisor’s Success Kit (Ask) CD-ROM
  • The SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards 2011-12 CD Package
  • National Conference DVD – A Week of Champions

Training and materials are free to participants. There is a $30 registration fee to cover lunch and breaks. To register, contact Stephanie Bland, 703-737-0622 or by e-mail to The deadline for registration is March 9. For more information on this and other training seminars, please go to:

Students Deliver Their Messages to Policymakers

February 1st, 2012

We were proud to have 47 students and nine teachers here at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center for the annual Ohio Regional Officer Training Institute (ROTI) from January 17-19. This is Ohio’s version of the Washington Leadership Training Institute with lots of leadership training and two visits to Washington, D.C. including the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum and the Martin Luther King Memorial (on Martin Luther King Day). The keynote speaker flew into Leesburg airport by helicopter. He is Toby Andrews, the 2001 Ohio state student president and now a captain and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He came to tell the students how this same event changed his life a decade ago.

On Wednesday, January 18, the students and teachers began their day at Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. After lunch, delegations went to the Hill to meet with 10 of their representatives and both senators from Ohio. Three of the representatives are members of the House CTE Caucus and the students reported that most of the offices they visited support the Perkins Act. For the majority of the students, this was their first visit to the Capitol.

The ROTI wrapped up on Thursday, including a meeting with the Maryland state officers at the Frederick CTE Center. Congratulations go to Mike Cowles for a great event and thanks to SkillsUSA staffers for coordination and training. Check out some of the photos here.

And, as further proof of SkillsUSA advocacy, Gayle Silvey, state association director of Georgia wrote to report that on January 17, Governor Nathan Deal launched the “Go Build Georgia Campaign” at a press conference in the Georgia Capitol Rotunda promoting construction skilled trades in the state. There were nearly 300 business and industry representatives, legislators and education officials present. Also on hand were several SkillsUSA student officers and student members demonstrating their skills in carpentry, plumbing, masonry and electrical trades right on the floor of the Rotunda. The governor and First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, met with the officers and toured the demonstrations. The students also met State Senator Jason Carter – grandson of President Jimmy Carter – who told them he believes in CTE and that “it is a source of motivation for students to pursue their dreams and follow their passions in life.” Congratulations go to Gayle as well. Photos of the event (although not of the demonstrations) can be seen at:!i=1675665969&k=43H5xVk


February 1st, 2012
  • Membership continues to run ahead of last year at 241,522. That’s 1,130 more than this date last year. Congratulations to the following state associations for exceeding last year’s overall membership. They are California, Clay Mitchell; Connecticut, Heidi Balch; Massachusetts, Karen Ward; New Jersey, Pete Carey; Pennsylvania, Jeri Widdowson; Rhode Island, Josh Klemp; and, Virginia – David Rathbone. Professional membership and alumni membership counts. Individuals such as industry partners and other friends not affiliated with a local chapter can join too online at the following link:
  • On January 18th, I met with the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) in Reston, Va. The highlight was to welcome a new representative from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), Robin Utz. Robin is the chief of the College and Career Transitions Branch at OVAE and formerly served as assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessment Services team at the Kansas State Department of Education. She’s very supportive of student organizations, having been both an FFA and FCLA advisor herself, and she gets the “big thumbs up” from Ann Wick, our Kansas state association director. In other news, a majority of the organizations reported that they’re having good membership numbers and conference attendance. The Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium talked about the common core education standards developed by the National Governors Association and a roll out of curriculum addressing the standards during the Career Cluster Institute in June.
  • We held a staff WorldSkills meeting on January 13 to plan SkillsUSA WorldTeam participation in Leipzig, Germany in 2013. A new management team has been identified and we have a lot of work to do for team selection, trials, training and fundraising. WorldSkills International has been notified of our new structure.
  • I recently returned from Nevada where I assisted with strategic planning with the SkillsUSA Nevada board of directors and attended the State Directors’ Association Executive Committee meeting. More on that next time.

Work Force Ready System and Skill Connect Assessments

February 1st, 2012

We offer 47 industry-driven technical and employability assessments, which include 44 Skill Connect assessments and four automotive assessments offered by our co-vender Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Information on our assessments and a complete list of the assessment areas available can be found at:

There are also instructor and administrator resources to help prepare students for testing, a free 10-question demonstration of each Skill Connect Assessment, an option to purchase a 50-question sample test for $10 per assessment area and links to purchase a Skill Connect Assessment for student testing or for instructor or administrator preview.

The Technology & Maintenance Council Scholarship

February 1st, 2012

The Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations is offering five truck technician scholarships (diesel technology) in partnership with WyoTech, the University of Northern Ohio and Lincoln Technical Institute.

Scholarship applicants are to be sponsored by a TMC member. TMC members are throughout the United States. Scholarship information and applications along with contact information are available online at:

The scholarships are part of an ongoing effort by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC) to promote and enhance the professionalism of commercial vehicle technicians.

Application deadline is March 15, 2012 and awards will be announced by April 15, 2012.

Attention National Officer Candidates

February 1st, 2012

Now is the time to identify national officer candidates for this June. We know there are a lot of great students who can represent the organization well, and we hope they will apply.

National officers receive top-notch training, travel opportunities and many networking experiences. Information for students and candidate forms are posted at:

State association directors with questions can contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or by email at: The deadline for application submissions is June 1. If elected, the new national officers must attend training in Lansdowne, Va., July 19-27, 2012.

Honorary Life Membership/Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Nominations Reminder

February 1st, 2012

If you would like to nominate someone for SkillsUSA’s national Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, please submit your nomination by going to the following assigned links and filling out the online application. The deadline for both applications is February 18.

CTE Branding Initiative

February 1st, 2012

As you may be aware, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), in cooperation with other organizations in the career and technical education (CTE) community, has developed a new logo and slogan for career and technical education – CTE: Learning that Works for America. SkillsUSA has been involved and supports this initiative.

Equally important, NASDCTEc has gathered the facts and developed the messaging for CTE advocacy so all organizations can be working from the same notes. For more information, go to:

You are encouraged to go to the NASDCTEc website for additional information and promotional materials, including videos and PowerPoint presentations. For advocacy information, go to: For promotional materials, go to: For more information, contact Erin Uy at:

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