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Honorary Life and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Nominees Reminder

February 14th, 2013

NominationsIf 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 completing the online application.

The deadline for both applications is February 18.

To nominate someone for Outstanding Educator, visit: For Honorary Life, visit:


If you have any questions, please contact Marsha Daves via email – or by phone – 703-737-0605.

Alumni Membership Incentive

February 12th, 2013

Alumni membershipThe Alumni Coordinating Committee is offering an incentive for SkillsUSA advisors who sign up alumni from their chapters. For every five members an advisor registers with the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association, he or she will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

To be officially entered into the drawing, the advisor must have students register online at: (Paper forms will not be accepted.) The advisor must then send an email to Byekwaso Gilbert at The email must contain all of the following:

  • the advisor’s name, school, address, phone and email (make sure what you provide will be accessible to you after June 1)
  • a list (for verification) of the students (first and last names) who registered as alumni

Remember that graduating seniors qualify to register during their senior year. Former SkillsUSA students are also eligible, provided they are not members already. These students must register through their former advisor to be counted as part of that advisor’s entry. Students may only register once. Deadline for entry into the drawing is June 1. 

SkillsUSA Week

February 7th, 2013

SkillsUSA MonthIt’s February, so it’s CTE Month once again, a time for all ten of the career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) and related professional associations to talk about the value of career and technical education.

SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 10-16. SkillsUSA Week is a fantastic way to highlight all the great things your state association and chapters are doing. We have a lot of great resources on our website to help you plan activities for the week. Be sure and visit for tools to celebrate and publicize career and technical education. ACTE also has many resources to help you celebrate CTE Month at:

When President Obama visited the campus of Northern Virginia Community College in June of 2011, he highlighted the importance of CTE for our country, and described it as the backbone of our nation.

He said, “I see a United States where this nation is able to out-compete every country on Earth, where we continue to be the world’s engine for innovation and discovery. I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States, and continue a important and honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value, not just shuffling paper. That’s part of what has built the American Dream.”

That’s what we represent  and what we stand for. What are you going to do for SkillsUSA Week?

Students Shine During Ohio Regional Officer Institute

February 1st, 2013
Ohio Officers

The SkillsUSA Ohio State Officer Team

The SkillsUSA National Leadership Center was home to 54 wonderful students and instructors during the week of January 14. The annual training event for Ohio’s regional and state student officers draws upon many of the features in the Washington Leadership Training Institute, but then adds more. State association director, Mike Cowles put together a powerful and packed program.

Training activities included public speaking, teamwork and advocacy. The students got to put their new skills into practice on Wednesday, the 16th, during Capitol Hill visits to the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown and Representatives Bob Gibbs, Marcy Kaptur and Patrick Tiberi. (Republican Members’ offices were closed for an offsite retreat that day.) The students talked about the importance of career and technical education and SkillsUSA in their lives as education, in preparing for their careers, to the economy and to their communities. Mike told me the students had great visits and were polished in the delivery of their messages.

Other highlights for the delegation included a trip to visit the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) facility and to meet their executives; a meeting with the Maryland student state officers and state director Chuck Wallace; and more Washington events including a tour of the Capitol, a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon, a walk around The White House and visits to monuments and the Smithsonian. And, I had the pleasure to speak during their banquet just before the students received their Statesman Awards and medallions from their contests. All in all, Mike and his advisors put on a tremendous educational program for the student officers of Ohio.

Click here to view more photos from SkillsUSA Ohio’s Regional Officer Training.


FY14-15 Strategic Planning

February 1st, 2013

The entire national staff was involved January 7-11 during our 13th annual “week of excitement.” This year, we cut the brainstorming to a minimum by surveying staff, advisors, state directors, board members and students in advance on critical issues and cost cutting or revenue generation. Then, we started writing objectives around what we see are some of the most important areas such as the move of the national conference to Louisville in 2015, infrastructure including staffing, communications planning to best employ both traditional and digital media and state association growth and development. Departments then made revisions to their FY13 plans and wrote their FY14-15 objectives and business plans. A rough cut of the plan was presented to the state directors’ executive committee when they met on January 24-25 in Atlanta.


February 1st, 2013
  • On Wednesday, January 9, I traveled with executives from Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) into Washington to visit with Assistant Secretary of Labor, Jane Oates, and her chief of staff to discuss a Department of Labor grant for an automotive employability curriculum.
  • Also on January 9, we had a conference call with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), its foundation, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and Haas Automation, Inc. to discuss increasing support from SME for this year’s national conference. Several items are under consideration including supporting more contests and complimentary workshops.
  • I’ve written previously about Rebuilding Together and its Kickoff to Rebuild, an annual NFL-sanctioned event to rebuild houses and bring together communities in Super Bowl cities. This year, the SkillsUSA chapter at Bonnabel High School in Louisiana will participate as volunteers.

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