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New Educational Resources for 2013-14

July 31st, 2013

New ProductsRESOLUTE: Ethics at Work
As students enter the workforce, they will face a variety of ethical dilemmas that require well-developed decision-making and problem-solving skills. The decisions they make will influence the quality of their work environment as well as the quality of their productivity. They will interact with a diverse group of coworkers, from various cultural backgrounds, as they work together to solve problems that have ethical implications.

RESOLUTE: Ethics at Work cards are a collection of scenarios representing day-to-day dilemmas that workers of many occupations are likely to face on their jobs.

As students wrestle with these dilemmas, they gain new insights about conflicting values, and they discover the variety of possible options and consequences that often exist. These engaging activities challenge students to work together to resolve ethical dilemmas and expose them to a variety of values and cultures. This is an engaging way to provide valuable career development.

Results to Honor Cards
Most of us would agree that hearing the words “good job” or “nice work” is encouraging. But when we receive a compliment, praise or “thank you” that is targeted and specific, it can be even more meaningful to us. When we acknowledge the specific, positive actions and behaviors of our students, we help them to grow. The Results to Honor Cards are a user-friendly teaching tool designed to reinforce the character and leadership skills that lead to success in the classroom, workplace and other areas of their lives. The set consists of seven different cards, designed around SkillsUSA’s Champions at Work seven key words- connected, motivated, respected, educated, involved, skilled and prepared. This item complements and reinforces the SkillsUSA From Quotes to Results poster series released last year.

Leverage Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings
Meetings are vital to organize activities, plan and fulfill a chapter’s program of work and learn essential lifetime skills. Hosting and facilitating effective chapter meetings is critical to overall chapter success. To be effective, officers must understand their roles at meetings and within the chapter. This booklet features six interactive lesson plans to help your students learn about their officer roles and how to apply them within the chapter, especially at chapter meetings. In 10-15 minutes, each lesson can be supported using enrichment activities. Enjoy equipping yourself and your students with knowledge and tools that will make meetings a highlight of the SkillsUSA chapter experience.

To order these products and more, go to:

Washington Leadership Training Institute Congressional Appointments

July 31st, 2013

WLTI 2012The 2013 WLTI will be held September 21-25 at the Hyatt Dulles in Herndon, Va. A flier with more information is located online at this link.

On Tuesday, September 24, the students and advisors attending WLTI will have time to go to Capitol Hill and visit with their Senators and Representatives between 10:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (The bus departs at 3 p.m.) Appointments need to be set up ahead of time. A sample letter  you can modify for your state appointments can be found here.

We suggest delegations first fax the appointment request letter and follow it up with a phone call. Letters sent by mail may take a month to reach Congressional offices because of security systems. But, if you do send a letter, please write or type the address – don’t use a label. The label will be blackened because all congressional mail goes through an irradiation process. And, don’t rely on an email invitation. Congress is receiving a massive amount of emails right now, so there is a good chance it could be overlooked, depending upon the office.

If you have questions or need information about how to contact your members of

Congress, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or by email at:


2013-14 National Officer Team

July 31st, 2013

National OfficersThe new national officers have been trained and are ready for assignments. If you are interested in having a national officer visit your state, please contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622. The newly-elected officers for 2013-14 are:

High School Division
President: Crystal Sandoval, Texas
Vice President: Laura Gouillon, Calif.
Secretary: Brittany Velez, Mass.
Treasurer: Daria Ferdine, N.J.
Parliamentarian: Bailie Henry, Okla.

Region I Vice President: Elizabeth Czerpak, Penn.
Region II Vice President: Jacob Halfin, Ga.
Region III Vice President: Cole Fallis, Ohio
Region IV Vice President: Chandler Forsythe, Texas
Region V Vice President: Erika Nelson, Wash.

College/Postsecondary Division
President: Leah Rife, Colo.
Vice President: Dustin Cagle, Ala.
Secretary: Juan-Carlos Medina, N.M.
Treasurer: Zach Pechacek, Neb.
Parliamentarian: Tony Hamblin, Tenn.


SkillsUSA Theme for 2013-14

July 31st, 2013

The SkillsUSA competition theme for the 2013-14 school year is:

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work
Educated and Skilled to Lead America 

The topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board competitions is how our slogan, “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work,” relates to our national program of work in the area of professional development.

Within this topic, contestants might illustrate or discuss any of the following:

  • How has your involvement in SkillsUSA ensured that you are educated in the areas of personal, workplace and technical skills needed to lead America?
  • As indicated by research, what are the needed skills to fulfill the projected job market, and how can you obtain the education to be prepared to lead America?
  • Why is it important to the economic success of America to build a society of educated and skilled workers?
  • How has your involvement in SkillsUSA led to greater skill development?
  • Why is continually updating your skills important?
  • How has education changed to adapt to the skills needed to be successful in the marketplace?
  • What can SkillsUSA do to ensure that its members are educated and skilled to lead America?
  • How does the level of education and skills attainment affect America’s success in the global marketplace?
  • What are the steps you would take to ensure you were receiving the right education and skills to fulfill the future job market?
  • What SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing personal skills that are needed to lead America such as integrity, self-motivation, work ethic, professionalism, and responsibility?
  • What SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing workplace skills that are needed to lead America such as communication, decision-making, teamwork, cultural-sensitivity and leadership?
  • What SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing technical skills that are needed to lead America such as technical literacy, job specific, service orientation, professional development, and safety and health?
  • How is SkillsUSA living out its mission to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible America citizens?

SkillsUSA WorldTeam Returns from Leipzig

July 15th, 2013

2013 SkillsUSA WorldTeamWe returned this past Monday from a great trip to the WorldSkills Competition (WSC), and we traveled with one of the best, most articulate and composed teams we’ve ever taken to international competition.

I’m not going to try writing a full report right now; after all, information is still coming in but I can report that the U.S. did well with the silver medal in Welding (and best in nation award) going to Alex Pazkowski, and medallions of excellence (scoring over 500 points where all contests are based on 600) won by Marcus Cain in IT Networking and Kieron Kohlmann in Automotive Technology. Pat Klaricki, the US technical expert in Print Media Technology won the WorldSkills Sustainability Award for having the greenest competition of the week. Everything printed by the contestants was used.

Here are a few bullet points. I know there will be more to come.

  • Our delegation comprised about 60 people including contestants and experts. If we add in the industry partners and others, the whole group was about 100. It was great to see that many more U.S. flags waving in the audience.
  • I was the information tour guide on the competition floor for the U.S. delegation attending the WSC under the German Skills Initiative. Included in the delegation were top government officials from New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina, some college presidents and representatives of Labor. I’ve already heard back from New Jersey and Maryland wanting more information about SkillsUSA.
  • While there, I met with executives from Samsung, Autodesk, Pearson, Dermalogica, Fluke and the CEO of Lincoln Electric. All are interested in supporting SkillsUSA or increasing their support.
  • It wasn’t WorldSkills all the time either. I attended two important satellite meetings as well. One was “Tackling the Global Talent Gap” sponsored by the International Skills Standards Organization. Don Whyte, president, National Center for Construction Education and Research and a great friend of SkillsUSA was one of the speakers. (NCCER also sponsored a dinner for our team and guests on Monday during the WSC.) I also attended “Skilling the Future: VET (vocational education) and Workplace Learning for Economic Success” organized by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The keynote speech was given by Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education. Brenda and Sharon Miller, director of Academic and Technical Education, OVAE, are the first U.S. officials to attend a WorldSkills Competition. Brenda told me she’d be covering the event in the OVAE newsletter seen in departments of education everywhere.

Largest Registration for National Conference

July 15th, 2013

The numbers are in and conference registration was the highest in SkillsUSA history with 10,146 registrants. I’m not going to go through all of the figures here, but I’m interested to see confirmed something I suspected on site: there was a 32 percent increase in the number of female contestants this year and a 34 percent increase in females attending conference overall. Given the traditional demographics of this organization and our instructional program areas, that’s an interesting shift. I also saw a lot of television coverage. It turns out I was right there too. The media report for the greater-Kansas City area this year shows 80 TV, radio, online and print stories about conference and the coverage, isn’t finished yet.

I believe the conference went very well. I’ve received lots of compliments. The state association directors appeared to be happy and so were the partners. That’s the way I like it because if they’re happy, then the students must have been served.

If you want a glimpse of the effect the national conference can have on a newcomer — who’s interested in business and STEM education — take a ride with Julie Kantor at the Huffington Post at: She’s a believer.


July 15th, 2013
  • Michael de Castro, director, GO Strategic Development with Air Products is joining the board of directors. Michael steps into the position held by Joe Pietrantonio. I know all of us appreciate Joe’s service, his business acumen, wisdom and spirit. He’s been a tremendous asset to all of us. Thanks Joe and welcome Michael.
  • We are also very pleased to welcome a new Region I representative to the Board – Dr. Dale Derrickson, state association for Delaware was elected to replace a great board member from Pennsylvania – Jerry Tylka.

Image Photos for SkillsUSA Champions Magazine

July 15th, 2013

Our magazine staff is seeking photo submissions for our “Image” page. In this contest, students and advisors can submit photos that show SkillsUSA members in action. We currently do not have a photo selected for the next issue, so please encourage members to enter. The photographer’s chapter will receive a $150 prize check and, of course, the thrill of seeing his or her work in print. For details, email Tom Hall at

2013-14 Alumni Coordinating Committee Announced

July 15th, 2013

Following the recent election, the 2013-14 SkillsUSA Alumni Coordinating Committee has been announced:

Executive Chair: Bryan Doxford, N.Y.

Region 1 Representative: Maria Bender, N.J.

Region 2 Representative: Joey Baker, Fla.

Region 3 Representative: Loree Hayden, Ill.

Region 4 Representative: Cody McPherson, Okla.

Region 5 Representative: Coleen Read, Nev.

Executive Secretary: Anne Dew, Ohio

State Association Director Liaison: Karen Ward, Mass.

Members are looking forward to working with their respective state association directors during the coming year. To contact your regional representative, go to:

Sample Press Releases, Medalist and Scoring Information

July 15th, 2013

Award ceremonyThe complete list of SkillsUSA Championships winners is now available at: For individual scores for contestants only click on Detailed Scores at: (To get these scores, you must have a contestant number and date of birth). This site also had the medalists by contest or state. Just click on “Medalists” to get this information. You can then view “All” or by the state or by the state and a specific contest. If you click on the very first box and select a year, you can see the old data from prior conferences.

Also, trade releases specific to each contest area are located at: Please feel free to use the wording from these when publicizing your students’ participation (e.g., as a delegate, Courtesy Corps member, competitor, etc.) in the NLSC.

And, a reminder that a sample press release template has also been added to SkillsUSA’s advocacy site. It’s another way to help get the word out to the media. This press release is editable by the sender and can be sent to five media outlets at a time. The site can be reached by going to: and clicking on “advocacy site.”


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