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Highlights

September 30th, 2012
  • On September 11, Don Hermanek and Rita Figi of IAA (Insurance Auto Auctions) came by the national office to discuss the launch of a partnership to reach out to support SkillsUSA state associations and chapters and to offer training and employment opportunities to SkillsUSA students from many training program areas. They expressed particular interest in students competing in the leadership contests. They started the meeting with the presentation of a $25,000 check. We are to get back together in early October to further develop our strategy.
  • Along similar lines, staff and I met on September 13 with NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research). They’re predicting an uptick in construction hiring and so they’re looking for ways to hire our construction graduates.
  • Thanks to Bill Maddox and Wanzel Jessie of YDF member N.E.W., we were able to take the Mega Prize winner John Lee and his wife, Samantha, to the owner’s box at a Washington Nationals baseball game September 7th and then I took them on a Segue tour of the Washington monuments on the 8th. Both John and Samantha are big baseball fans so they were just over the moon about the prize. John teaches diesel equipment technology at Tennessee Technology Center in Elizabethton. He’s also a state certified trainer, he’s had national contestants, has a national officer this year and he was a Virginia state officer many years ago.
  • And, finally, the WorldTeam had its first webinar on August 3. Most of the contestants, experts, management team and a few state association directors participated. It was an orientation for the team and to check on how we’re doing on communications and training. We met with state association directors Karen Ward and Mike Cowles on September 10 to discuss several topics including state director certification, new training structures and registration procedures and the hotel lottery at national conference among others. The staff values their input. Past national officer, national staff member and all-around good friend to SkillsUSA, Bill Prince and his wife Patty came by to visit with the national staff on September 12. Bill addressed the staff meeting on the early history of SkillsUSA and exciting moments he recalled such as the appearance of President Reagan at our national conference.

Leverage and Activate Conference Facilitator Application

September 29th, 2012

We need your help in identifying potential Leverage and Activate facilitators for 2013. Do you know of a former national officer, state officer or member that enjoys working with students? Are they passionate about leadership and teamwork? Are they open to learning how to be the best facilitator possible? If you answered yes to these questions, then encourage them to complete an application to become a facilitator. Great opportunities await them for personal growth and achievement. Applications are due October 15.

To complete the Activate/Leverage Application go to: https://acrobat.com/?i=*jpQnIR8Cchqhx-91llLhw. You can use Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to fill in this form. When you are finished, click Submit on the upper right hand corner to return your data to SkillsUSA. You can also save the form to your computer and return to it later to submit. Get the free latest version of Adobe Reader from: www.adobe.com/go/reader.

New Support from Workboots.com

September 29th, 2012

On October 1, WorkBoots.com, a customer service-focused Internet retailer based in Chesterfield, Mo. will give their customers a chance to support SkillsUSA during the checkout process. Donators can choose from a variety of dollar amounts with all proceeds going directly to SkillsUSA.

“As a retailer who caters to the working men and women of America, we want to show our support of the essential skills and contributions they make every day,” said Chad Weinman, CEO of WorkBoots.com. “Not only are we helping to support this foundation, but this also gives current workers the opportunity to sponsor the next generation of skilled workers by making a donation to their education.”

Here’s the link to the work boots superstore: http://workboots.com.

National Youth Safety Video Contest

September 28th, 2012

CareerSafe®, Safety Education for America’s Future™, is sponsoring the 2012-2013 National Youth Safety Video Contest.  Students across the country are challenged to create a video demonstrating safety in the workplace.  The contest will kick off on October 15, 2012 and all submissions should be sent into CareerSafe by March 1, 2013.  The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA Prize Pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500 and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000.

To view an online flyer about the contest, go to: www.careersafeonline.com/images/video%20contest%20flyer.pdf. For more information on the contest, please visit the CareerSafe® website on October 15.

Lowe’s Grant Webinars

September 28th, 2012

SkillsUSA is pleased to announce a continuing partnership with Lowe’s for 2013. As part of its overall grant to SkillsUSA, Lowe’s will award grants to local chapters of up to $25,000 each to support classroom improvements, upgrade or provide tangible tools for learning technical skills, support leadership development opportunities, or provide for competition clothing that will give students the opportunity to compete at SkillsUSA events that would otherwise be unattainable. In support of chapters applying for grants, a series of webinars will be held to help chapters through the grant application process.

There will be two webinars held on October 2 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the webinar information is now online at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/loweswebinars.shtml. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2012.

Highlights

September 15th, 2012
  • A big thank you to our state association directors who attended the Professional Development and Training Conference in Rapid City, S.D. Here are just a few more highlights from the conference. Tiffany Sanderson, team leader, Perkins Career and Technical Education in South Dakota – equivalent to the state CTE director – was a featured speaker during the opening dinner. The states held regional meetings before the business meeting and all ran very well. Mark Williams, SkillsUSA’s chief IT consultant, did an outstanding job of demonstrating the conference management system. At least half of the directors attending participated, and Mark did a separate training for new state directors. The Mount Rushmore nighttime lighting ceremony was wonderfully patriotic. Jen Polz, state association director from Minnesota is the new executive committee chair-elect and all of the executive committee did a phenomenal job of running the conference.
  • On August 23, I flew to Chicago to meet with the CEO and executive staff of IAA (Insurance Auto Auctions) and the CEO and president of ADESA (a leading provider of vehicle remarketing services). Board member, Russ Hoffbauer, made the introduction by inviting the president and vice president of IAA to the conference last June. Needless to say, they were impressed by what they saw. During our meeting, Kaila O’Farrell, national high school vice president, talked about the value of SkillsUSA to students and then Russ Hoffbauer talked about why State Farm is involved in SkillsUSA. I’d say they were both persuasive because both organizations signed up to be SkillsUSA official sponsors effective this year. Executives from each organization met with us in Leesburg on September 11. Thanks go to Russ Hoffbauer for his support.
  • We have 311 people registered to attend the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) and it starts tomorrow. They’ll be representing 27 states and Puerto Rico and 31 state associations. I believe this is the largest WLTI in history. All of the national officers will be attending.
  • Preparations for the Champion of the Year dinner are reaching a feverish pace. An announcement news release went out on September 6, and Snap-on has really stepped up efforts to get coverage during a news conference scheduled at the National Press Club. Staff is following up on the invitations to the administration and Congress. We’ve had good sponsorship responses from the Youth Development Foundation and members of the board, and we’re looking forward to having 100 students and teachers from WLTI join us for the dinner.
  • We’re getting ready to send 13 students and 12 technical delegates from the 2013 SkillsUSA WorldTeam to Brazil for the WorldSkills Americas in mid-November 2012. We sent two contestants to the 2010 WorldSkills Americas competition and found it was a great way to prepare the contestants for international competition and – even more important – to help prepare the technical experts. Thank you to the state associations who are stepping up to support these contestants in their quest for excellence on the world level.

That’s it for now. Until next time, thank you for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.

 

Lowe’s Grant Webinars

September 14th, 2012

SkillsUSA is pleased to announce a continuing partnership with Lowe’s for 2013. As part of its overall grant to SkillsUSA, Lowe’s will award grants to local chapters of up to $25,000 each to support classroom improvements, upgrade or provide tangible tools for learning technical skills, support leadership development opportunities, or provide for competition clothing that will give students the opportunity to compete at SkillsUSA events that would otherwise be unattainable. In support of chapters applying for grants, a series of webinars will be held to help chapters through the grant application process. Get the details here: www.skillsusa.org/educators/loweswebinars.shtml. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2012.

Free Online Teacher Tools

September 14th, 2012

As you begin the new school year, advisors should know about the 12 online advisor training modules: Advisor Essentials Training Library. These modules are designed to be easy-to-use, easy-to-access and to connect advisors to existing resources. All advisors are welcome to use the training modules anytime, anywhere to learn how to develop a strong SkillsUSA chapter. For more information and to view the modules, go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/change2.shtml.

Also, free and online, are two additional resources – Chapter Activity Planner and Personal Leadership Inventory. They are both important documentation tools for teachers.

The Chapter Activity Planner (CAP) is a tool that makes planning and conducting chapter activities fun and effective. The planner makes it easy to brainstorm ideas, set goals, create an action plan, track assigned tasks and evaluate progress. At the end of an activity, the tool produces an electronic report to save for future reference. The CAP will help students master six steps from organizing to reporting an activity. There is also an online learning module for advisors and a lesson plan to introduce members to the planning process and help them begin using the tool. To access this resource and learn more, visit: www.skillsusa.org/educators/cap.shtml.

The Personal Leadership Inventory (PLI) is a series of online self-assessments for students to grow their skills as individuals, team members, citizens and employees. There’s also a module for instructors on how to put the PLI into action in the classroom and a lesson plan to introduce members to the personal growth process and the PLI. Go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/pli.shtml.

Alumni Program Manager

September 14th, 2012

SkillsUSA is hiring for the position of an alumni program manager. This position administers the responsibilities associated with the management of all aspects of SkillsUSA’s national alumni association.

Minimum Education, License and Experience Requirements
This position requires effective written and verbal communication skills, the ability to manage projects efficiently, conduct research and coordinate attendance at SkillsUSA and other educational events such as school visits, conferences and/or trade shows. Candidates should be organized, detail-oriented, energetic and possess the ability to multi-task and work well with others. Non-profit association experience and alumni experience preferred, especially as a former SkillsUSA member or career and technical student organization member or supporter. Knowledge and/or experience in Microsoft Office software required. Relevant experience and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is preferred.

Essential Functions of the Job

  • Develop and implement annual and long-range operating plans for Alumni development
  • Design and conduct strategies and tactics to substantially increase Alumni membership and involvement at all levels
  • Develop and promote the tangible and intangible benefits of membership to prospective Alumni members
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the Alumni Coordinating Committee and coordinate its awards and recognition programs
  • Work directly with state association directors and state alumni coordinators to provide state support
  • In coordination with the Office of Business Partnerships and Development, assist in developing corporate relationships to support the Alumni and SkillsUSA. This includes, but is not limited to, fundraising efforts such as the individual giving campaign

Interested applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter to: Missy Wilson, Human Resources Manager, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176, or by email to mwilson@skillsusa.org by September 28, 2012.

In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in workforce development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities. SkillsUSA is an equal opportunity employer.

 

Student Contest for CTE Month

September 14th, 2012

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has launched a new student contest for CTE Month- the CTE Month Promotional Poster Contest. It is seeking student’s best and most creative poster designs promoting CTE Month. The contest is open to all CTE students, secondary and postsecondary, and ACTE will accept submissions until October 19. After that six finalists will be selected and their entries will be posted on ACTE’s Facebook page. Anyone can then vote for his/her favorite for one week. At week’s end, whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winning poster design.

ACTE is hoping to generate more attention for CTE Month. The winning posters can be used by CTE teachers, CTSO advisors and other CTE Month celebrants to promote CTE Month and social media advocacy week—being held February 11-15. Winners from each category will receive a prize pack including a copy of the Adobe CS6 Suite.

Here is the link to the contest rules on ACTE’s web page: www.acteonline.org/ctemonth.aspx#Challenge


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