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CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week Activities

January 31st, 2014

February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 9-15 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your state association and local chapters are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the chapter management section on the SkillsUSA website, including downloadable public service announcements, sample proclamations and press releases at:

SkillsUSA is also launching a video competition during SkillsUSA Week for members to showcase their skills. Here is their opportunity to tell the story that CTE programs are preparing students for the 21st Century. Entries should be between 2-3 minutes in length and uploaded to YouTube by May 1, 2014.

For details, go to: If you have questions, email Stephanie Bland at


Honorary Life and/or Outstanding Educator Nominations Reminder

January 31st, 2014

If 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. Nomination forms are below:

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


Alumni Coordinating Committee Nominations Needed

January 31st, 2014

The SkillsUSA Alumni Coordinating Committee (ACC) is seeking nominations for Regions II, IV and executive chairperson. If you, or someone you know, would like to run for a position on the committee, please complete the nomination form. The form is posted online at: This dynamic group provides guidance in furthering the goals and purposes of SkillsUSA and its alumni. This group of elected volunteers works directly with the national staff and meets regularly to carry out alumni projects. Please contact Heidi Walsh at if you have questions or would like more information. Nominations must be received by April 15, 2014.


Competition Central

January 31st, 2014

The SkillsUSA Store is here to help your students look their best this conference season. Visit our “Competition Central” section at: today to find the full line of SkillsUSA work uniforms, official blazers and wind jackets, along with everything else they need to succeed. And, please reference the official competition uniform chart for photos and descriptions of the uniform components needed for each competition.

Alumni Pin Design Competition

January 30th, 2014

SkillsUSA sponsors an alumni pin design competition that is open to all SkillsUSA registered alumni. This year, the winning design will become the official 50th Conference Commemorative pin for the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The pin will be produced by the SkillsUSA Store and sold at the alumni booth. If you have questions, please contact Heidi Walsh at For contest details and rules, go to: All entries must be received (not postmarked) in the SkillsUSA national headquarters by the close of business on February 28, 2014.

National Youth Safety Video Contest Reminder

January 30th, 2014

CareerSafe, Safety Education for America’s Future, is sponsoring the 2013-2014 National Youth Safety Video Contest. Students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. The contest kicked off on October 15, and all submissions should be sent into CareerSafe by March 1, 2014.

The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA Prize Pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For more information on the contest, please visit the CareerSafe website at:

Executive Directors Report: January 15, 2014

January 15th, 2014

FY 15-16 Strategic Planning
Every year in January, SkillsUSA staff spends a week in strategic planning for the next fiscal year. Staff worked diligently last week developing the goals, objectives and tactics for the FY 15-16 strategic plan. During this process, we always take a look back as we move forward. Fiscal Year 2013 ended August 31 and there were so many superlatives that we can all be proud of.  Thank you all for making it such an amazing year for SkillsUSA and the great students and teachers we serve.  Here is a short video clip showing a few special moments from 2013:

Membership News
I’d also like to recognize the state associations who are growing participation and opportunity for students and teachers through outstanding membership recruitment efforts.  Our focus this year is centered around 2RE: Reach, Recruit and Engage. Most importantly, once we reach and recruit students with the positive message of SkillsUSA, we want them to become engaged in activities that will make a positive difference in their career pathways and their personal and professional development.  The new tools and resources that were introduced for 2013-14 are hopefully helping make this a little easier and more effective for state associations this year.

The following states are listed in order of their reaching membership above last year’s grand total:

  • California, Clay Mitchell, State Association Director
  • Rhode Island, Josh Klemp, State Association Director
  • Arizona, Carrie Wolf, State Association Director
  • Indiana, Kelley Baker, State Association Director
  • Connecticut, Heidi Balch, State Association Director
  • District of Columbia, Ed Roebuck, State Association Director
  • Mississippi, Andy Sims, State Association Director

As of today, we have just over 215,750 members on the books. We are trending well and are optimistic the push forward will continue through the new year.


That’s all for now. Happy New Year! Thanks for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.

ACTE National Policy Seminar: March 3-5, 2014

January 15th, 2014

Registration is open for the 2014 ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS). This year, NPS will feature the latest information from Capitol Hill staff and Members of Congress on the reauthorization of Perkins (See this link), as well as ongoing reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (See this link), Higher Education Act (See this link) and Workforce Investment Act (See this link).

Attendees will also receive timely updates on federal funding for Perkins and other key programs, with important details on how you can best influence the funding process; opportunities to weigh in on the critical policy issues affecting their programs; and advocacy tips and tools to promote their your program at the local, state and federal levels.

For more information, go to:

2014 SkillsUSA University

January 15th, 2014

We are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topics to present at the 2014 SkillsUSA University. This year SkillsUSA University is sponsored by Universal Technical Institute. All sessions will take place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel or the Kansas City Convention Center on June 25, 26 and 27.

We ask state directors or instructors who would like to present to send emails with proposed topics to Niki Clausen at

Possible topics: local chapter activities; fundraising; community service; SkillsUSA Program of Work success stories; business etiquette; communication skills for students; local industry partnerships, etc. These can be best practices (with a local advisor presenting) or an expert in the subject area. If you do not want to present, but you have suggestions for workshop topics, please feel free to forward them to us.

The deadline for proposals is February 28. For more information and a Request for Proposal (RFP), go to:

State Certified Training

January 15th, 2014

The State Certified Training Program trains SkillsUSA Advisors to be advisor trainers at the state level.  Each State Certified Trainer receives a Trainer Manual including PowerPoint presentations and additional training materials.  State Certified Trainers also receive SkillsUSA materials.

The next new State Certified Trainer Training will be held February 19-21, 2014 in Little Rock, Ark. The schedule follows:

  • February 19 – travel day (those who arrive in Little Rock by 7 p.m. are invited to meet in the hotel lobby to go to dinner)
  • February 20 – full day of training
  • February 21 – half day of training ending with lunch so participants can catch afternoon/evening flights home

Training will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Little Rock, AR. (Address: 424 West Markham, Little Rock, AR, 72201, 501-372-4371)

SkillsUSA will cover hotel expenses (room and tax), meal expenses during the training and all training materials for the first two trainers per state. Participants/states will be responsible for all travel expenses (airline and ground transportation) and incidental expenses. If your state already has two active trainers, and state directors would like to add additional trainers, we ask that the state cover the cost of travel and hotel and SkillsUSA will cover the cost of meals and training material.

Participant registration must come from the state association director. Participants should possess teaching or training experience at the high school or college/postsecondary level; have used the PDP and/or CSEP curriculum in the classroom; be active in SkillsUSA activities at local and state levels; and, maintain a flexible schedule to assist state director with advisor training.

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