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Conference Countdown

June 15th, 2013

As we prepare for the largest national conference in SkillsUSA’s history, we have a busy staff at headquarters focused on all the details that will make it a successful conference too. There are a myriad of projects being completed from the printed programs and other materials, to the scripts, agendas, VIP schedules, reviews of equipment and facilities, packing and arrangements for transportation. I could never draw up a complete list of the tasks that have to be done. This is a time of year when I reflect that SkillsUSA is fortunate to have a staff and volunteers who have everything covered. Conference registration is at a record high of 10,002 and SkillsUSA University will offer 69 sessions. The competitors number is nearly 6,000 … 5,927 to be exact.

“TAG Tuesday” (Train-Act-Grow), is a series of leadership activities to be held for delegates during national conference. In the morning, there will be workshops for high school chapter leaders and high school state officers and there will be separate workshops for college/postsecondary delegates on networking with business. The afternoon will offer experiential sessions for the high school delegates and one-on-one interviews with business representatives for the college/postsecondary delegates.

Following up on another introduction from Board member Russ Hoffbauer, Enterprise Holdings, Inc. — holding several car rental companies — is supporting national officer travel to the national conference this year with a $10,000 donation and is providing 11 vehicles for use during conference.

Highlights

June 15th, 2013
  • I went to Rhode Island June 7-8 and visited with a great local chapter (Chariho CTE Center), met with state contestants and conducted board training and strategic planning with the SkillsUSA Rhode Island Board of Directors. Thanks to Josh Klemp and his board for a productive and successful meeting.
  • Staff attended a Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) conference in Baltimore on June 3. SME has a new tag line, “Making the future. Together,” and Our representative said many conferees stopped him to talk about SkillsUSA.
  • On May 14, staff members and I drove up to Bethlehem, Pa where we were joined by Board President James King and YDF Chair-Elect Laurie Gostley-Hackett and representatives from Northampton Community College, to prepare for our meeting the following day with the president and senior staff at the college. John McGlade of Air Products has encouraged the college to start a SkillsUSA chapter that could be a model for colleges elsewhere, and he’s willing to invest time and money to do it. James spoke of the success the technical colleges are having in Tennessee with chapters and the benefits derived by the colleges and the students. We have a tentative agreement from the president to attend the national conference with senior staff.
  • And, finally, I had an interesting meeting here in the office on May 13 with the vice president of the International Sign Association (ISA). The association wants to develop a certification for the workers who design, fabricate and install highway and digital signs. ISA is very interested in our employability curriculum and assessments as a possible component in their certification system. He said he’d met with many workforce development organizations, but this had been the most productive meeting yet.

 


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