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October 31st, 2013
    • SkillsUSA was featured on the PBS program “American Graduate Day” and aired live nationwide on Saturday, September 28, from noon – 7 p.m. EDT. The program spotlighted 20 organizations – including SkillsUSA – that help keep students on the path to high school graduation and successful futures. Among the SkillsUSA features were SkillsUSA alumnus Chris Jimmerson and his teacher, Alice Boss, both of Ypsilanti, Mich. No surprise therefore that SkillsUSA Michigan has posted the clip. So if you missed it, see below:
    • Staff recently traveled to McDonough, Georgia to meet on upcoming new initiatives for the organization. Upcoming events include a college postsecondary task force meeting, planned for November 6-8, in Leesburg, Va. This meeting will focus on specific needs of college/postsecondary members both in recruiting and engaging students. Participants will include college/postsecondary members, national officers, advisors and state directors.
    • The Marketing and Membership Services team is establishing a strategic membership advisory committee. This new group will meet December 10-12 near Dulles Airport to focus on strategic membership initiatives that will produce large scale membership growth while ensuring sustainable membership business models. Participants will be primarily board and foundation members.
    • Staff conducted an advanced and a basic Chapter Management Institute training in Mt Sterling, Ohio, October 17-18 for 50, and another in Haines City, Florida on October 24 for 37.
    • We have finished counting the number of congressional visits made by during WLTI. This year, students and advisors visited with 37 Senators, 72 Representatives and 1 Resident Commissioner, for a total of 110, and we received excellent feedback from the visits. We also heard some nice comments from the WLTI attendees this year too: “It was a great and awesome experience, truly transforming; All activities were definitely an experience of growth and learning; Thank you, it was a great conference!; This was my first SkillsUSA conference and it had a dynamic effect on my students. Thank you for all you do; I am an alumni and it was wonderful to see the wonderful things SkillsUSA still does for students; and, I so appreciated the opportunity to meet staff and to be able to interact with others throughout the nation.”

Free Advisor Membership Incentives Reminder

October 31st, 2013

When advisors register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by November 15, 2013, they will receive a free copy of Leveraging Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings, The Teacher’s Guide, SkillsUSA’s brand-new guide for enhancing classroom instruction.

Also, instructors who submit a roster with 100-percent membership plus one or more professionals also will receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95). Remember, the membership roster must be submitted online by November 15th to receive these free items.

And, sponsored by the Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation, advisors will be eligible to win a $50 Lowe’s gift card when they submit SkillsUSA membership as a professional member of SkillsUSA and have a minimum of 15 members in their training program. Here is how it works – advisors register  members online at the SkillsUSA website, and, then, each day the national headquarters will draw the name of one lucky advisor and will notify winning advisors on Friday of each week. Advisor names stay in the drawing until drawn or until the incentive program ends. It will run to November 15, 2013.

President’s Volunteer Service Award

October 31st, 2013

Because SkillsUSA is a certifying organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, advisors, student members and registered alumni can earn recognition for community service activities and time spent as a volunteer.

This award is a presidential honor that recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers nationwide who are answering a national call to serve others through their current volunteer activities or lifetime service. As a certifying organization, SkillsUSA can identify eligible recipients, verify their service hours and distribute the award to outstanding volunteers.

Given participation in ongoing service activities, advisors and students may already meet the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni can submit a record of their service hours. State directors are also encouraged to document service hours and apply for the award.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements for submission, visit: Applications must be received (not postmarked) by April 1, 2014.

National Conference Pin and T-shirt Contests

October 30th, 2013

February 1, 2014 is the deadline for entries to the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt competitions. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized in front of a national audience. A plaque for the teacher and student, plus a school grant to the advisor of the winning student will be announced at a later date. Rules are in the membership kit and are also posted on the SkillsUSA website at:

Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or by email to


WIN Scholarship Program for Collision Repair/Refinishing Students

October 30th, 2013

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) offers scholarships that will provide tuition assistance as well as educational opportunities and enrichment events to qualified applicants.

The College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship Award is presented to students (male or female) enrolled in a postsecondary/college collision repair/refinishing technology program. Each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their postsecondary education in collision repair, a one-year WIN membership, plus the registration fee and travel expenses to attend the 2014 Education Conference.

The High School Tuition Scholarship Award is presented to students (male or female) enrolled in a secondary collision repair/refinishing technology program who plan to continue their studies at a technical school or college. Each scholarship winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their postsecondary education in collision repair and a one-year WIN membership.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2014. For scholarship requirement details and submission instructions, go to: and click on scholarships.


Scholarship Opportunities

October 29th, 2013

There are several scholarships opportunities available for students on the SkillsUSA website. Please pass the word.


Educated and Skilled to Lead America Video Competition Reminder

October 29th, 2013

“Educated and Skilled to Lead America” is SkillsUSA’s theme this year and the students’ challenge will be to create a video that showcases how members are becoming educated. The video could show what their classroom or lab looks like, what they are learning, and their specific skills and how they show them off. This is their opportunity to tell their story.

Only currently registered SkillsUSA high school and college/postsecondary student members can enter and membership will be verified for each entry. The work can be done by an individual, a team or an entire class.

There is no limit on the number of students who can work on a video. The video must be entered under one chapter name, and there will be only one prize awarded for the winning video. For additional questions or information, email Kelly Horton: Complete contest details can be found at: The deadline for entries is November 15, 2013.

“Start Something Today” Challenge Reminder

October 29th, 2013, the organization that heads up the national Web Design contest, would like to remind students and teachers that there is still time to participate in the Start Something Today challenge. This new competition, conducted completely over the Web, provides students with an award-winning start to launching a business idea, plan and pitch to business and industry professionals and win recognition and prizes.

Sponsored by, the challenge is designed to inspire student entrepreneurs to actualize their business initiatives while sparking business creation and workforce development. The “Start Something Today” challenge is open to current student entrepreneurs, regardless of where they are in their education and career journeys.

For additional information and to participate, go to: The deadline for contest entries is December 1, 2013. For more information, contact Bill Cullifer at

Washington Leadership Training Institute

October 15th, 2013

The 2013 Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) was the largest and probably one of the most amazing in our history. Capitol Hill visits will be reported in a few weeks, and they will set new records. In addition to the wonderful stories of the connections the students made with their elected representatives, we also heard so many stories about the patriotic connections that students made as they toured national monuments, experienced our wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and at the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial.

WLTI definitely hit a new registration high with 371 attending representing 29 states and Puerto Rico. It took seven buses just to get the group around. We had some great presenters, including Johan Uvin, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education and Robin Utz and Sharon Miller also from OVAE. We also had representatives from the Association for Career and Technical Education, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the College Board and Jobs for the Future talking about advocacy, opportunities and challenges for career and technical education. It was a great five days.

We’re still counting the number of congressional visits made by the students and teachers during WLTI and I’ll let you know that next time, but the reports from the state delegations are very complete and we are receiving excellent feedback about their visits. And, Niki Clausen reports that WLTI participants wrote over 200 notes to soldiers overseas during this year’s community service project.

SkillsUSA also enjoyed some good sales of the educational resources during WLTI. The booth enabled teachers to review materials and hear first-hand from other teachers how the materials are being implemented in local classrooms.

Connecting on Sea Island

October 15th, 2013

On September 16-18, I participated in the Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA) Industry Leadership Summit at the Cloister Resort on Sea Island, Ga. The summit was attended by over 150 executives representing 42 automotive associations and several national insurance companies. My presentation “The Workforce for America’s Future” was extremely well received by the group and I’ve had several requests for follow-up and interest in partnership opportunities. The summit was an outstanding networking opportunity and a great chance to let more people know about the work of SkillsUSA. Russ Hoffbauer, SkillsUSA board member, who first introduced us to IAA, was also a participant at the summit.


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