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SkillsUSA WorldTeam Competes in Brazil

November 15th, 2012
SkillsUSA WorldTeam

The SkillsUSA WorldTeam prior to departing for Brazil.

Eleven members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam are currently in São Paulo, Brazil to participate in the WorldSkills Americas competition to compete with countries from North and South America. This competition is a great “warm up ” for the WorldSkills Competition to be held in Leipzig, Germany, in July 2013. WorldSkills Americas, in cooperation with its member countries, organizes a competition every two years focused on vocational training. The first competition was held in 2010 in Rio de Janeiro.

WorldSkills Americas (WSA) is a non-governmental not-for-profit organization. Its objective is to provide means for vocational education quality improvement in North America, Central America and Caribbean and South America countries, involving governments, industries, commerce and vocational education and training organizations and/or institutions. The WorldSkills Americas operates in conjunction with the WorldSkills International.

Members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam who are competing at the WorldSkills Americas competition are:

Autobody Repair – George Mason, Lexington Technology Center, Lexington, S.C.
Automobile Technology – Kieron Kohlmann, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.
CNC Turning – Ronald Olkowski, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.
CNC Milling – Joshua Bedell, Pinellas Technical Education Center, Clearwater, Fla.
Cabinetmaking – Daniel Berrios, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, Pa.
Cooking – Matthew Lorman, North Point High School, Waldorf, Md.
Graphic Design Technology – Sarah Parker, Ronald Reagan High School, Pfafftown, N.C.
Mechatronics – Antony Costantini, The Technology Center, Fremont, Ohio
Mechatronics – Jarrod Nichols, The Technology Center, Fremont, Ohio
Plumbing and Heating – Nicholas Michalenko, Smith Vocational, Northampton, Mass.
Web Design – Michael Angel, Essex High School/Center for Technology, Essex, Essex Junction, Vt.

Twelve of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam technical experts are also participating.


November 15th, 2012

In his recent essay in the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) Friends of CTE Blog Series, SkillsUSA Champion of the Year, Nick Pinchuk of Snap-on says “When some say the American worker is the problem, I say no . . . the American worker is the answer. We need to enable workers with both training and respect. Because of that, CTE and SkillsUSA have never been more important to assure a prosperous American future. ” To read the complete essay on the importance of CTE and America’s workforce and based on his remarks during the Champion of the Year events, please visit:

Jennifer McNelly, president of the Manufacturing Institute and new member of the Youth Development Foundation, was honored recently in the inaugural 100 Women Leaders in STEM, a showcase for the careers and initiatives of women leaders who are active role models for STEM professionals. Congratulations go to Jennifer.

On October 25, staff and I conducted a webinar on the Skill Connect Assessments for the Arizona Department of Education. Joining the one-hour presentation were the state superintendent of education, the assistant superintendent and others in Arizona working on career planning and assessments. The presentation went well, and they certainly appeared to be interested. In a related development, Daniele Stacey of National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) came by the national office on October 18 to meet with me to discuss how our Skill Connect Assessments could cooperate with the NCCER assessments. Daniele said NCCER also wants to increase visibility of SkillsUSA in its own curriculum materials.

In our continuing effort to get information from all of our stakeholders, we invited SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association Coordinating Council members Bryan Doxford of New York and Peyton Holland of North Carolina to meet with select staff on October 11. We discussed their vision for the organization and their ideas for areas of emphasis in SkillsUSA including social media networking, videos, a strong alumni association, digital marketing tools and training for all. The full Council just met at the national center, November 9-11.

And, on October 19, we held our annual staff outing with a lovely autumn lunch and wine tasting at a local winery. We honored years of service at the luncheon for five of our staff members: Ashley Ridgeway, five years; Sandy Moore and Roxanne Hodge with 10 years; Tom Kercheval for 15 years; and, Karen Beatty for 45 years of service. While I’m on the topic, I’ll also mention anniversaries of staff from September, October and November: Niki Clausen, 3 years; Byekwaso Gilbert, 12 years; Jane Short, 19 years; Kim Graham, 24 years; Tom Hall, 27 years; Shelly Coates, 32 years; and, Judy Garrison, 34 years. Each and everyone is an amazing resource for SkillsUSA. We have a great staff.

Interstate Batteries Fundraiser

November 15th, 2012

SkillsUSA is excited to announce a new partnership with the Interstate Batteries fundraising program for local chapters. This is a great opportunity for our chapters to raise funds in partnership with a company whose mission and product align very closely with SkillsUSA.

Through this partnership, local chapters would sell Interstate Batteries products and will receive 50 percent of the sales.

Below is the link for local chapters to sign up today. We encourage you to promote this program and encourage all chapters to participate in this program as they seek to raise funds for district and state events and leadership development activities and materials.

For more information, go to:

Work Force Ready System Update

November 15th, 2012

SkillsUSA offers 47 technical and employability assessments in 11 cluster areas including four co-branded assessments with ASE/AYES and five co-branded assessments with PrintED/GAERF.

System updates were released in September with new features to enhance the grade reports, certificate printing and username password reset functionality. See examples of the enhanced grade and username password reports at:

Free training webinars are now scheduled for the month of November. To see the scheduled dates and times, go to:

For information on our assessments, visit our Work Force Ready System website: or contact Patty Duncan at 703-737-0633, Ext. 1, email

Chapter Management Webinars – Mark your calendar!

November 15th, 2012

Looking for ways to engage more members in SkillsUSA activities and programs? Need ideas on membership recruitment? Need a place to turn to for help on everything SkillsUSA related? Join us for the next Chapter Management Webinar series:

  •  Membership Recruitment and Engagement
  • Electing Chapter Officers
  • Program of Work Planning and Implementation

Create a wonderful year in SkillsUSA by joining these 30-minute informational webinars that cover best practices developed from SkillsUSA advisors.

The join links, phone numbers and passcodes are listed below and the information is also online at:

Tuesday, December 4 -11 a.m. – Electing Chapter Officers
Call Toll Free: 1-888-537-7715 Passcode: 33692574 #

Tuesday, December 4 – 3:30 p.m. – Program of Work Planning
Call Toll Free: 1-888-537-7715 Passcode: 33692574 #

Tuesday, December 4 – 6 p.m. – Membership Recruitment and Engagement
Call Toll Free: 1-888-537-7715 Passcode: 86453585 #

2012 Awards Ceremony DVD Reminder

November 15th, 2012

Winning a national medal at the SkillsUSA Championships is a monumental achievement. Relive the moment of glory with this DVD of the Awards Ceremony from SkillsUSA’s 2012 National Leadership and Skills Conference. This is the same footage that appeared during the live Internet stream of the event and on the big screens at Kemper Arena. Some speakers and performances have been edited for copyright reasons. The DVD includes closed captioning. To order, call 800-321-8422 or go to:

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