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FY12 Annual Report

March 31st, 2013

SkillsUSA’s Annual Report for FY12 is now available online. The contents illustrate our successes in both program delivery and the financial stewardship of our mission to empower our members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. To view the Annual Report, go to: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/annual.shtml.

Submit Mentoring Projects for Student2Student

March 30th, 2013

Student2Student Mentoring

SkillsUSA sponsors a national recognition program based on the Student2Student mentoring program. Any chapter involved in mentoring can submit its project plan, description and outcomes. The winning chapter will be given a cash prize and recognized at an event during the National Leadership and Skills Conference. In addition, the overall winning chapter will be invited to present its winning mentoring program as a part of SkillsUSA University. For information, go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/mentrecog.shtml. All entries must be submitted online to the national office by April 4. Winners will be announced in May.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Online Resources to Help Businesses Recruit, Train and Retain a Skilled Workforce

March 29th, 2013

CareerOneStop logoThe U.S. Department of Labor announced on March 25th the launch of the Business Center, a suite of online resources for employers looking to recruit, train and retain a skilled work force through the department’s CareerOneStop website.

The site includes tips about how to recruit qualified candidates through local American Job Centers and provides employment projections. Additionally, the site offers access to local training and educational institutions, a catalog of occupational certifications and a tool to help employers translate the military training and skills of returning service members into specific civilian occupations. The CareerOneStop Business Center is available online at: www.careeronestop.org/business.

The new Business Center page builds on existing resources available through CareerOneStop, which also has information to help job seekers find education and training providers, conduct a job search and access local labor market information.

Partnership with Gates Corporation Education Reminder

March 29th, 2013

Gates logoSkillsUSA is excited to announce a new partnership with Gates Corporation Education. Their “Tools for Schools” program is a great opportunity for SkillsUSA’s automotive teachers.

The purpose of the “Tools for Schools” program is to provide educators with supplemental educational materials from a global company. Gates assists many of the Original Equipment Manufacturers with their research and development and through this program new products and systems are designed and problems solved. Technology is changing so quickly that it can take years for the latest information to reach you and your students. The “Tools for Schools” program is one way Gates can ensure the latest technology and information are available to you 24/7 simply by accessing their website. Gates hopes you make their site a daily part of your learning curriculum and visit often.

The “Tools for Schools” program is made up of three components: (1) “Tools for Schools” website where all elements of the program can be found; (2) “Tools for Schools” Performance Center eLearning for your students contains a wealth of informative content and tests each student’s ability to retain and understand via an exclusive training quiz found at the end of each segment; and, (3) “Tools for Schools” “Free” tool program. A program designed to reward the school for using the eLearning tool and using Gates products. Schools can earn Gates diagnostic and installation tools by accumulating points based on program participation.

Websites for this Program

Tools for Schools Webpage for the Educator (only): www.gates.com/education

Gates Performance Center for Students: http://gatesaftermarkettrainingcenter.com

For more information, please contact: Bobby Bassett, manager, Training Automotive Aftermarket, Gates Corporation, cell 601-954-4152, email rbassett@gates.com.

Interstate Batteries Partnership Reminder

March 28th, 2013

Interstate Batteries logoSkillsUSA announced a partnership with Interstate Batteries and a fundraising program for local chapters. This is a great opportunity for your chapters to raise funds in partnership with a company whose mission and product align very closely with SkillsUSA. Through this partnership, local chapters can now sell Interstate Batteries’ products, and they will receive 50% of the sales. Below is the link for your chapter to sign up today. This is a great program to participate in as you seek to raise funds for district and state events and for leadership development activities and materials. For more information, go to: www.Interstatebatteries.com/fundraising/SkillsUSA.

Firing on All Cylinders at Daytona 500

March 15th, 2013

We had an amazing opportunity to talk about SkillsUSA, skilled trades and welding from February 20-24 during a week of racing at Daytona Beach, Florida. This was the SkillsUSA WorldTeam final Weld-Off  -  a competition taking 22 hours over four days – to select the final member of the WorldTeam. We had three finalists, Andrew Cardin of Massachusetts, Tanner Tipsword of Wyoming and Alex Pazkowski of Michigan. All of them did fantastic work, and Alex was named the winner on Sunday evening.

The other big winner was SkillsUSA. Thanks to an outdoor booth valued at $58,000 and donated by Larsen Motorsports, we had tens of thousands of people come by to talk, meet the students and examine their welding projects. Larsen Motorsports is owned by Chris and Elaine Larsen, and she’s one of only four female jet fuel dragster drivers in the world. She was in the booth signing autographs right along with the students when they were on break. The SkillsUSA flag was flying and the SkillsUSA and AWS logos were prominently displayed on a racing trailer in the booth. Crowds got progressively larger through the week. By Sunday, the crowds were four and five deep. See the photos at: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152585499225591.959256.22208255590&type=1.

The connection to Larsen was made through Youth Development Foundation Committee member Paul Cleveland of Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Inc., and members of the Welding contest technical committee. The American Welding Society (AWS) was the main sponsor and, on awards night had a beautiful white tent with lights and a sound system right down on Daytona Beach. It was a beautiful setting and event to announce the winner and recognize each of our contestants. Thanks go to Brandon Muehlbrandt of Lincoln Electric Co., Nick Peterson of Miller and all the other participants for pulling this whole event together. I know Alex will do a wonderful job of representing the United States in Germany this July.

Spring Conference in Mississippi

March 15th, 2013

On February 26-27, I attended the Mississippi spring conference in Jackson. There were 200 more registrants this year with 1,500 attending overall. Competitions were held in several locations around town, but one of the most impressive venues was the Trademart where the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF) administered all of the construction contests. The MCEF used the event as a centerpiece for a full-day seminar called “Pathways to Success” conducted for 130 administrators and guidance counselors from around the state. The audience heard a lot about the importance of CTE and construction careers, and I had the opportunity to tell them about SkillsUSA. State Senator Philip Moran also attended, and I received considerable interest from the regional sales manager of Makita, U.S.A.

Congratulations to Andy Sims, Mississippi state association director for a successful conference and thanks to Jean Massey, state CTE director, for her strong support of SkillsUSA.

On Thursday, February 28, I flew to St. Louis to meet with executives of Enterprise Holdings, parent company of Enterprise, Alamo and National car rental companies. This was another corporate connection made by board member Russ Hoffbauer. Russ, national officer Sergio Cavazos and I met with the head of the foundation, two vice presidents, three assistant vice presidents and a director. When the CEO met with us at one point, he said “I see you’ve got the Enterprise A team.” That was nice to hear.

Russ covered the reasons why business is involved with SkillsUSA, and Sergio did a beautiful job talking about the effect SkillsUSA has had on him, his school and his community. It was easy to see the executives were thoroughly impressed, and they said they want Enterprise to get involved as a partner at the local level and, perhaps, at national conference. They also expressed interest in our customer service competition and assessments.

Highlights

March 15th, 2013
  • A staff member attended a meeting at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) on February 28 called by the Alcoa Foundation, who wanted to put SkillsUSA, Project Lead the Way, The Manufacturing Institute and Junior Achievement officials together to brainstorm on challenges in developing the manufacturing workforce and in combating negative public and educational perceptions of manufacturing. Later that day, staff engaged The Manufacturing Institute and PLTW officials in discussions on administration of and criteria for awarding digital manufacturing “badges.”
  • And, looking ahead a little bit, the SkillsUSA WorldTeam has an appointment to visit the German Embassy during the team’s Washington, D.C. training program, April 26-29.

SkillsUSA Graduation Regalia

March 13th, 2013

Be sure to recognize the hard work and achievements of your graduates with the gift of official SkillsUSA graduation regalia. SkillsUSA stoles, tassels and honor cords can be purchased now before the rush of graduation season sets in. Just go to: www.skillsusastore.org to order.

SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month

March 1st, 2013

February was CTE Month, and we celebrated SkillsUSA during the second full week of February every year. We held a webinar on February 12th for members and state associations and we had triple presidents with Board President James King, Sergio Cavazos, national high school president and Ben Morris, national college/postsecondary present all delivering powerful messages. We hope to be learning soon of the activities chapters carried out across the nation.


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