SkillsUSA
Search
Legal / Privacy / Index / Membership Login
StudentsEducatorsSupportersAbout UsEventsCompeteJoinConnectShopContact

Home > Tim's Blog

Connecting with Insurance Auto Auctions

November 1st, 2012

On October 3, staff and I traveled to Brandywine, Md. to attend a live auto auction with our new official sponsor Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA). State association directors Peyton Holland (N.C.) and Tyler Kercher (Fla.) accompanied us and did an incredible job representing the state directors in the Eastern Region. This trip was designed to familiarize SkillsUSA with the auto auction business and to introduce our state directors to IAA regional managers. While at the facility, we experienced the auction process and learned about the Brandywine facility. IAA has 161 locations across the nation. We look forward to working with IAA in building successful pilot projects in four eastern states which will include introductions of IAA managers to state association directors and local advisors, meeting space at IAA facilities and offering internships and employment to SkillsUSA students.

IAA is a $2 billion enterprise and sells autos in every state and in 61 countries around the world. We appreciate board member Russ Hoffbauer making the introduction to IAA for SkillsUSA. Thanks to IAA Vice President Don Hermanek and HR Director Rita Figi for facilitating the meeting and to Peyton and Tyler for representing SkillsUSA so well.

Council on Competitiveness

November 1st, 2012

I was invited to attend a Council on Competitiveness Symposium on October 4-5 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The invitation was extended by Council member John McGlade, chairman and CEO of Air Products. Board member Joe Pientrantonio and YDF member Laurie Gostley were heavily involved in organizing the event. The theme was “Leveraging the Talent Development Process to Drive Innovation.” Hosts for the symposium were Alice Gast, Lehigh University president; Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council and John McGlade. Special guests and speakers included executives from Lockheed Martin, Deloitte, NanoMech; workforce development leaders from regional economic development and workforce investment boards; and, education leaders from leading universities and education agencies. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, was the closing speaker and she commended SkillsUSA and Air Products for our model partnership.

On both days of the meeting, I was able to spend some quality time with our great friend, John McGlade. John was a “live commercial” for SkillsUSA during the entire event and spoke passionately about our program at the dinner of the Council on Thursday evening. He also had SkillsUSA members from Lehigh Valley Schools in red blazers at every table. He recognized each one of them by name and their training program (most were in manufacturing pathways of study). and he also recognized our WorldSkills cabinetmaking competitor from Pennsylvania, Daniel Berrios, from Northampton Community College in Tannersville, Pa.

John would like for us to be at the next Council meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 16, and he is trying to get us a seat at the table. The Council is proposing a national “Skills Agenda,” and John is one of the primary drivers of this concept that will focus the federal government and business executives on the skilled worker issue. Big thanks to John and Air Products for making SkillsUSA a significant component in the Council’s discussion about our future skilled workforce.

Learning from Our Membership

November 1st, 2012

Recently, members of the Membership, Marketing and Sales team traveled to Rhode Island and Massachusetts to meet with students, teachers and administrators for informal focus groups to gather data about SkillsUSA’s customers.

This effort is a kick-off to an additional five-state formal focus group planned for late fall and winter. Research will be conducted with both high school and college/postsecondary customers with a formal report to be compiled next spring.

This effort aligns with a key objective for the organization in the upcoming year to better understand the needs of SkillsUSA professional and student members. SkillsUSA is working to define the status of our integration into local career and technical classrooms. To help meet this objective, profiles of SkillsUSA advisors will be developed which will enable staff to better understand the needs and issues facing SkillsUSA as they integrate SkillsUSA into instruction. Additional data is also needed on why students join SkillsUSA and become engaged in the organization and what local chapter operations currently exist.

The research will drive future products and programming designed to meet the needs of our current and future customers. This will also help provide additional revenue sources for the organization to sustain operations and grow programming. Thanks to state association directors Karen Ward and Josh Klemp for hosting our team during their visits in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Highlights

November 1st, 2012
  • On October 1-3, our Education, Training and Assessments department staff were engaged in intense training with Quantum Learning’s nationally respected trainer Mark Reardon. Our training staff learned the latest training and motivational techniques; and will be incorporating these into our training seminars and workshops for students and advisors. The training included focus on effective meetings, new teacher training and the most current training trends and techniques. Staff tells me they were excited about the training and even more excited about implementing what they learned with our stakeholders.
  • As a follow up to the Champion of the Year Dinner and great connections from YDF member Dave Camden of Toyota, we are working with Interstate Batteries to introduce a national fundraising campaign for our local chapters. In our discussions with local advisors and student leaders, fundraising is a critical component of local involvement in SkillsUSA. Chapters will have the opportunity to sell Interstate alkaline batteries and keep approximately 50 percent of all sales.
  • I’m also pleased to announce that earlier last month, Interstate Batteries announced a partnership with SkillsUSA. Starting this year, participating SkillsUSA student chapters will be able to sell a wide variety of Interstate Batteries products from AAA, AA, C, D and 9V batteries to flashlights and organizers with testers. And, for each Interstate Batteries product sold, SkillsUSA student chapters will receive 50 percent of the sale price.
  • Finally, staff reports that we are almost ready to travel to Brazil with 11 of our finest students to compete in WorldSkills Americas in November. Our final count of participants is complete, and we are in the last days of planning for the event.

2013 American Airlines Discount Program for SkillsUSA

November 1st, 2012

American Airlines continues an airline discount program for the 2013 National Leadership and Skills Conference and the 2013 Washington Leadership Training Institute. See the following for instructions:

2013 NLSC

Attendees using correct code can use the five percent discount on the lowest published fare.  The discount is good for American Airlines flights into Kansas City International Airport – MCI – Kansas City, Mo. A discount agreement is valid June 16 through 30, 2013.  To make airline reservations, call American Airlines at 1-800-433-1790 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and refer to your Promotion Code 1963DK or go online to www.AA.com and choose “More Flight Search Options” and insert the promotion code in the appropriate box. At this time there is no ticketing charge for reservations made and ticketed on www.AA.com. Please allow one hour for the code to be loaded for use on www.AA.com.  The percentage discount can be booked online at www.AA.com for American Airlines and American Eagle flights only.

 2013 WLTI

Attendees using correct code can use the five percent discount on the lowest published fare.  The discount is good for American Airlines flights into Reagan National Airport (DCA-Washington, D.C.) Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI-Baltimore, Maryland) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD-Herndon, Virginia).  A discount agreement is valid September 15 through 29, 2013. To make airline reservations, call American Airlines at 1-800-433-1790 from anywhere in the United States or Canada and refer to your Promotion Code 8493BC or go online to www.AA.com and choose “More Flight Search Options” and insert the promotion code in the appropriate box. At this time there is no ticketing charge for reservations made and ticketed on www.AA.com.  Please allow one hour for the code to be loaded for use on www.AA.com.  The percentage discount can be booked online at www.AA.com for American Airlines and American Eagle flights only.

Project Ignition Grants Reminder

November 1st, 2012

Project Ignition (PI), is in the driver’s seat again, announcing the availability of $2,000 grants for public high schools to address teen driver safety using service-learning. In its ninth year, PI is a great extension of Celebrate My Drive™ and another way to interact with local high schools on safer teen driving behaviors.

Public high schools are invited to get involved in Project Ignition by applying for a grant, available at www.sfprojectignition.com. Get connected on Facebook at www.facebook.com/projectignition.

The deadline for grant applications is Nov. 15.

National Conference Pin and T-shirt Competition Reminder

November 1st, 2012

February 1, 2013 is the deadline for entries to the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt competitions. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized in front of a national audience. A plaque for the teacher and student, plus a school grant to the advisor of the winning student will be announced at a later date. Rules are in the membership kit and are also posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/compete/pindesign.shtml. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or to hwalsh@skillsusa.org.


%d bloggers like this: